After years of dithering, I've only just managed to get around to getting a provisional driver's license. But if Elon Musk has his way, it won't be worth the laminated card it's printed on before long – the Tesla boss has teased that the company's first fully-autonomous driverless car is almost ready to be revealed.
Speaking on a conference call, the real-world Tony Stark spoke of his company's progress in the AI-driving space, stating "what we've got will blow people's minds, it blows my mind... it'll come sooner than people think."
Musk has previously suggested that the hands-free driving experience will be ready by the end of 2017, which lines up next to the expected start of production for the Tesla Model 3. It's thought therefore that it'll be the first commercial vehicle truly capable of autonomous driving. But that doesn't mean it'll actually be useable – regulators and road infrastructure are unlikely to greenlight any driverless system on public roads for quite some time.
However, if the hardware is ready to make its way into a vehicle, a connected car like the expected Tesla Model 3 could have iterative software updates to increase its autonomy over time. Indeed, it's refining software smart enough to safely allow a car to self-navigate that's said to be holding back progress, rather than any sensor or mobile communication issues.
“It blows me away the progress we are making," added Musk. "And if it blows me away, it’s really going to blow away other people too when they see it for the first time.”
Tesla has been teasing a huge announcement before the end of the year since June, stating that it'll reveal the "obvious thing" that everyone expects from the electric car company. On top of Musk's comments here, it seems near-certain we'll have some concrete news on the company's autonomous driving tech by the end of the year – and maybe a glimpse of the vehicle it'll debut in, too. [Electrek]