If you've always dreamed of taking that road trip across America, there's no time like the present. The clock is ticking after Tesla CEO Elon Musk predicted his company's cars, the Model S and Model X, will be able to drive across the United States without a driver within the next two years.
Musk made the bold prediction Sunday as part of an announcement showing off new software for the electric vehicles. Now, he said, improved self-driving features include tighter limits on highway speed and a way for owners to summon their car, so the Tesla delivers itself to within three miles of their location. That's in addition to Teslas already having the capability of parallel parking and operating a garage door without a human.
“I actually think, and I might be slightly optimistic on this, within two years you'll be able to summon your car from across the country,” Musk said during a conference call as quoted by the Guardian. “It's more like remote-control parking. But this is the first little step in that direction.”
Tesla regularly updates its autopilot features based on the driving data produced by the hundreds of millions of miles driven by existing owners.
Based on those driving tendencies, Tesla's new autopilot will cap at 5 mph over the speed limit on highways and in residential neighborhoods while also slowing at times along curved roads, just as a human would. It's all part of the plan to continue testing and updating the Model S and Model X over the next 24 to 36 months, a period Musk predicted will see great strides in artificial intelligence capabilities behind the wheel.
“It's probably better than a person right now (at driving),” he said, adding that additional work will be done to make sure a Tesla “will be able to drive virtually all roads at a safety level significantly better than humans.”