After Tesla rolled out Autopilot features to its Model S cars in October, drivers immediately started exploiting the newfound capabilities and using them in ways the electric car company’s CEO warned against. Still, that hasn’t scared Tesla away from the quest for a fully autonomous car. The big boss man Elon Musk took to Twitter recently and put out a call for software pros who might like to join the Tesla Autopilot team.
Expanding the software team is all part of Musk’s plan to release a fully self-driving electric car by next year. The California-based company has been working on the autopilot software for several years, and the project has now reached a critical point. Musk is leading the charge for new team members, saying the company is “looking for hardcore software engineers” for this “super high priority” project. He’ll be interviewing candidates personally in the quest to grow the team that will realize his vision of a luxury electric car capable of driving itself – perhaps up to a million miles, when paired with the new drive train in development.
Tesla’s push to create its own self-driving car comes on the heels of Google’s accomplishment, which put autonomous cars on the streets of Mountain View, California earlier this summer. Adding limited Autopilot features to the Model S this fall was a big step forward for Tesla, giving the cars the ability to stay in their lane, maintain distance from other cars, park themselves, and change lanes without human assistance.
Whether the world is ready for self-driving cars is another issue, and even Musk has speculated that autonomous cars might be made illegal because of the inherent danger involved in removing a human decision-maker from the driving process. As he said in a statement earlier this year, “People may outlaw driving cars because it’s too dangerous. You can’t have a person driving a 2-ton death machine.” But that’s just it, Mr. Musk. Does it still count as driving if the car operates itself?
Images via Tesla Motors