Elon Musk Gives TSLA Stock a Boost
Every company working on self-driving cars had better watch out, because it looks like Tesla Motors, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) is further along than expected. In a recent interview, Elon Musk let slip an optimistic timeline for driverless technology, leaving shareholders of TSLA stock giddy with excitement.
Remember when Tesla unveiled its “Autopilot” feature in October? After a quick software update, some “Model S” owners got the chance to test out Tesla’s self-driving technology. This model could change lanes in traffic without them ever touching the wheel.
The release put Tesla far ahead of its peers in the race to commercialize driverless technology. Even though competitors like Google have (reportedly) partnered with existing automakers, their products shouldn’t hit the market before 2020.
Elon Musk says Tesla should have fully autonomous vehicles ready long before that.
Jaws Dropped When Elon Musk Said This
Elon Musk is famous for his candid comments in interviews. He doesn’t shy away from giving a straight answer, which is why investors pay close attention to his every word. However, his latest comment got eclipsed by the historic “SpaceX” landing on Tuesday.
But the announcement has enormous implications for Tesla stock. “We’re going to end up with complete autonomy,” said Musk. “And I think we will have complete autonomy in approximately two years.” (Source: Korosec, K., “Elon Musk Says Tesla Vehicles Will Drive Themselves in Two Years,” Fortune, December 21, 2015.)
Two years; can you imagine? Musk cautioned that regulators will likely lag behind in development of the technology, meaning that we won’t see a flood of self-driving cars on the road in 2018. But the technology itself should be ready for consumers.
“I think we have all the pieces, and it’s just about refining those pieces, putting them in place, and making sure they work across a huge number of environments—and then we’re done,” said Musk. “It’s a much easier problem than people think it is.” (Source: ibid.)
I’m not sure “easy” is the word most people would use to describe self-driving cars, but then again this is Elon Musk we’re talking about. Compared to establishing inter-planetary travel, I guess driverless technology is relatively simple.