Musk talks about future of Tesla self-driving car

Musk discussed the future of the autonomous vehicle at the StartmeupHK festival (Hong Kong, 29 January).  Tesla vehicles can partially drive themselves already, if only on motorways, but the CEO of the company believes that the industry will rapidly move in the autonomous direction in the foreseeable future. Musk addressed the audience, saying  that “ultimately the whole industry will be producing autonomous cars. If you fast forward 10, certainly not more than 15 years, I think almost all cars produced will be autonomous.”

But Musk, as usual, has a unique vision for the way that autonomous vehicles will develop. Although autonomous cars will be relatively conventional in the near future, Musk believes that in the long run such vehicles will ultimately retail without any driver controls at all.  “If you go long-long term there isn’t a steering wheel in most cars, but I want to say, predictions are not endorsements… In the long term, I think owning a car that does not have autonomous ability will be a bit like owning a horse. You own a horse for sentimental reasons but not for actual transport,” Musk commented.

There is plenty for Tesla to be excited about.  However, Tesla shares have fallen nearly 20 per cent this year, to put this figure into perspective, in 2014, Tesla stock peaked at nearly $300. Its stock has fluctuated in the past though, owing to the fact that the electric car marketplace is still relatively unstable and embryonic. With Tesla intending to deliver as many as 100,000 vehicles in 2016, the many bulls of the company could yet be vindicated during this calendar year.