Tesla auto pilot: Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) announced that it is developing technology that will allow an electric car to drive itself. According to CEO Elon Musk, this new vehicle with “auto pilot” will be available within the next three years. Since the technology for this vehicle is to be developed entirely in-house, the firm is currently looking for an advanced Driver Assistance Systems Controls Engineer.
In an interview with Financial Times, Musk explained that the new car would allow drivers to hand over 90 percent of the control of the car over to a computer system. Achieving a fully autonomous vehicle will be a completely different story, since “It’s incredibly hard to get the last few percent,” Musk said.
Building a driverless car would allow Tesla to overtake Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) in this industry segment. The tech giant started the race three years ago, but hasn’t been able to find a partner to build the vehicles with yet.
Technical obstacles aside, legal and safety matters will limit the possibility of driverless cars being allowed onto the street anytime soon. Laws in the European Union, for example, currently demand drivers to control their vehicles at all times. Another factor is the insurance industry. Whether the multi-billion dollar industry will be willing to insure these cars depends on how reliable the technology proves to be.
Firms such as Daimler AG (USA) (OTCMKTS:DDAIF) and Google have already made some progress on the automated driving front. For example, the German auto manufacturer offers the S-Class model with traffic jam assistance. Google has taken things a step further building equipment that allows vehicles to navigate roads in California and Nevada.
Rival carmakers such Daimler and Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (TYO:7201) have stated their intentions of selling self-driving cars by the end of the decade. However, Tesla is a lot more ambitious, presenting a three-year timeline, which they intend to follow. Liability remains the concern of every firm seeking to develop autonomous driving technology. Even if ample testing is undertaken, the first company to offer consumers autonomous vehicles will be under immense pressure to prove the technology’s reliability. Check back here for more Tesla auto pilot updates, and see the equity portfolios of Andor Capital Management and Bridger Management to see how some hedge funds are trading the stock.
Disclosure: Pablo Erbar holds no position in any stocks mentioned