Tesla on Wednesday announced its ambitious plan to make all its new electric car models completely autonomous, Reuters reported. In a much-awaited announcement on Wednesday, the Silicon Valley company said it will equip all the cars with the hardware required for the vehicles to drive on their own.
The company’s Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk (pictured above) said Tesla's Model S and Model X will have the hardware required for full autonomy, besides eight cameras, 12 updated sensors and radar with faster processing. The hardware package alone will cost $8,000 (Rs 5,33,639 approximately). However, the software required for the cars to become fully autonomous is still being tested, and will need approval from regulators before it can be used.
Musk said, “By the end of 2017, a Tesla will be able to drive in full autonomous mode from Los Angeles to New York without the need for a single touch on the wheel.” However, he said the company would not be legally responsible if their driverless cars got into an accident, unless the crash happened because of some fault in design or software. “No, I think that would be up to the individual's insurance. If it is something endemic to our design, certainly we will take responsibility for that,” Musk said, according to Business Insider.
Tesla cars already come with a semi-autonomous, “Autopilot”, option. While all major car makers are aiming at introducing fully self-driving cars in the near future, Google has been working on the technology for more than seven years, and it has a fully autonomous test fleet on public roadways.