The Tesla Model S is already a very advanced car, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk wants to make it more so. Musk says he would like an auto-pilot version of the Model S—he prefers to call it auto-pilot rather than self-driving—one that would be able to control 90 percent of the driving by 2016.
There are no shortage of automakers currently working on autonomous cars, but what’s significant about Musk’s self-driving plan is the timeframe. Mercedes-Benz most recently joined a chorus of industry heavyweights, saying it wanted to further its semi-autonomous driving features, ones we got to play around with on the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class and E-Class. But Mercedes wanted to deliver such a car by 2020. Musk has slashed this timeframe drastically, and says by making them 90 percent autonomous, they can save a lot of development time. He also prefers “auto-pilot” to “self-driving,” because as noted in a recent Bloomberg report:
“I like the word autopilot more than I like the word self-driving. Self-driving sounds like it’s going to do something you don’t want it to do. Autopilot is a good thing to have in planes, and we should have it in cars.” We’ll be following along as details emerge in Tesla’s quest to deliver an autopilot Model S.