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Elon Musk Predicts Fully Autonomous Vehicles In Two Years; Even Driverless Buses Are In The Works

By Joseph St. James. , May 04, 2017 05:11 AM EDT

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors, recently gave a talk at TED about The Boring Company and his plans to enter the semi-truck market. But the most interesting part of his talk is his predictions about the future of fully autonomous vehicles. In his talk, Musk also discussed his plans to produce fully automated vehicles.

Musk Believes It Will Come In Less Than Two Years

The Tesla CEO believes that fully autonomous vehicles will be a reality in less than two years. Currently, Elon Musk's electric cars are equipped with autopilot accessories that make driving less burdensome. His Tesla cars come with one radar, eight cameras and a slew of ultrasonic sensors. Driving is controlled through the information sent by all these accessories to a central processing computer.

In predicting that fully autonomous vehicles are possible in less than two years, Elon Musk predicted that drivers will actually be just as a passenger in their own cars. However, he warned that future drivers should still be aware that the system will not be 100 percent foolproof. Therefore, drivers should not sleep while traveling but should still remain alerted.

Tesla Motors' Project Is On Track

Elon Musk also revealed that Tesla Motors' project of completing a fully autonomous car trip from Los Angeles to New York is on track. This trip will not need any human intervention, no pressing of buttons, and no human commands. He also hopes to demonstrate his electric car's full vehicle automation capability by the end of 2017.

Buses Will Also Become Fully Autonomous

Meanwhile, fully autonomous vehicles are no longer limited to light vehicles only. There is a company that wants to develop driverless buses that can safely convey passengers from one destination to another. The University of Nevada has recently announced that it is starting a three-phase project to develop a fully autonomous bus by 2019.

The Project Will Be Done In Three Stages

The first stage will start on June 1. It will require Proterra, a California company, to trawl a sensor-laden, electric passenger bus for 3 miles along the busy Virginia Street. A driver will do all the work of driving, while the bus gathers all the information required to navigate the whole 3-mile stretch.

Stage two of the fully autonomous electric bus project will require two researchers to develop driverless bus systems using all the data gathered from stage one. The third stage will see the licensing and commercialization of the created bus autonomous system. The project proponents hope that this system will also be applied to busiest of city streets.

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