Tesla recently alluded to the forthcoming launch of a car with no steering wheel or pedals, requiring no driver input at all. Elon Musk promises that this new vehicle will be available between now and 2021. But, the manufacturer’s timelines have often proven too optimistic in the past.
Photo credits: Tesla/Elon Musk Twitter
American electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla will produce cars without pedals or a steering wheel by 2021, claimed Elon Musk on 22nd April. The brand’s CEO made the announcement while presenting the company’s developments to investors, reported website Clubic. With none of the components required for traditional driving, these cars will get around without any human input.
An autonomous driving system for other vehicles
Tesla’s imaginative director has long been promising to develop completely autonomous vehicles. The manufacturer has been working on a vehicle without pedals or a steering wheel since 2016. But, the company is also developing an autopilot system designed to be fitted into its more standard models. The first version of this system was launched back in 2015.
Two years later, Elon Musk promised to improve the system’s artificial intelligence and innovations by 2019, making it possible for the cars to drive around without the driver’s surveillance. Tesla’s founder also confirmed, at the beginning of this year, that fully-autonomous driving would become a reality by the end of 2019 thanks to updates made to the on-board software. But, since then, certain flaws have been found within the system.
Flaws that have slowed the project down
Tests have brought various security issues to light. Flaws have also been detected in the driving systems. Specialists recently proved that the autopilot algorithm could be corrupted using just a few simple stickers.
The fact remains that, despite the delays in the promised timeline, the prospect of autonomous driving is enough to encourage people to buy a Tesla car. The cars contain all the necessary equipment for traditional driving and, though the vehicles are not fully autonomous, all the drivers have to do it sit at the wheel and stay vigilant, taking their surroundings into account as the car drives itself.
Automatic taxis and an application in the pipeline
During the presentation to his investors, Elon Musk also alluded to the introduction of a million Robotaxis in certain markets before the end of next year. This is possible thanks to the huge advances made with regard to the electric chips inside the vehicles in question. A carpooling application, using these cars, is also in the pipeline.
Cover photo credits: Tesla
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