Elon Musk: Tesla eyes electric car autopilot
By Kent Bernhard Jr
Upstart Business Journal Money & Finance Editor
Tesla, maker of the Model S electric sedan, is considering options for adding an autopilot feature to future cars.
Elon Musk is no stranger to futuristic notions. So it's little wonder the man behind Tesla Motors and Space X is noodling with the idea of an autopilot for electric cars.
Musk tells Bloomberg he's even talked with Google (Sergey Brin and Larry Page were early backers of Tesla) about incorporating the driverless car technology the search giant has developed into a future generation of Tesla (Nasdaq: TSLA) cars.
“I like the word autopilot more than I like the word self-driving,” Musk said in an interview with Alan Ohnsman of Bloomberg. “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.”
He's not committed to going with Google, he said. But he does want to incorporate some form of autopilot into future generations of Teslas.
“The problem with Google’s current approach is that the sensor system is too expensive,” Musk said. “It’s better to have an optical system, basically cameras with software that is able to figure out what’s going on just by looking at things.”
Musk wants to bring the cost of his offerings down so more people can buy them. The base price for a Model S sedan is $69,900, and he wants to eventually offer a model for about $30,000.
So the autopilot may be optional, at least at first.
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