Saturday 18th June 2016
Elon Musk: We Are Less Than Two Years From Complete Car Autonomy
The Tesla CEO spoke at the Code Conference and predicted that we’re closer to self-driving cars than anybody thinks.
“I think we are less than two years away from complete autonomy, safer than humans, but regulations should take at least another year,” Musk said.
While many auto and tech companies–from Google to Uber and GM to Lyft and Apple to Ford–are researching and testing autonomous vehicles, Tesla seems on the verge of announcing that its Model 3 consumer sedan will have full self-driving capabilities.
Musk did not confirm that feature, but when asked multiple times on stage, he replied that there would be another Tesla event later in the year in which he would have more details.
The only thing he would say is that Tesla would do “the obvious thing”–seemingly a reference to a prior comment he made about autonomous driving being a must have feature for future vehicles. – Brian Soloman
Friday 30th September 2016
Lyft CEO: Self-Driving Cars To Handle Majority Of Lyft Rides Within Only 5 Years
Lyft CEO and co-founder John Zimmer expects self-driving cars to handle the majority of Lyft’s rides within only 5 years, and all of them within only 10 years.
That means, going by Zimmer’s vision, by 2026, anytime you used Lyft to make a trip, you would be doing so in a self-driving car.
Interestingly, Zimmer also “expects” that private car ownership will “all but end” in most major US cities by 2025.
He sees a transition where driverless tech gradually increases in capability. Fixed-route autonomy would show up as early as 2017, while low-speed (under 25 MPH) autonomy on changeable routes would start as soon as 2018. Full autonomy would just be the next logical step, then. – James Ayre
Friday 30th September 2016
Chris Dixon: In 2 years Everyone Will Use Driverless Cars on Highways
Within ten years, roads will be full of driverless cars.
Maybe within two, depending on where you’re driving.
That’s what Chris Dixon, a partner at prestigious Silicon Valley investment firm Andreessen Horowitz believes.
Dixon has written extensively about the future of autonomous vehicles and invested in a number of startups in the space, from self-flying delivery drones to, a company founded by a young man who built a self-driving car in his garage.
“All of the trends we’ve been observing over the last decade — from cloud computing to cheaper processing — have hit a tipping point,” Dixon says. “This is the core that’s getting people excited about AI, and specifically around autonomous vehicles and autonomous cars.”
It’s also cheaper than ever to build a smart car. Dixon says many driverless car companies use tiny chips made by a publicly-traded company, NVIDIA. NVIDIA’s chips only cost a couple hundred dollars.
“For $200, you could get what 10 years ago was a supercomputer on a little board and put it in your car, and it can run one of these sophisticated deep learning systems,” he says.
Additionally, a lot of the AI for autonomous vehicles is open-sourced, like Google’s product TensorFlow. This allows everyone in the space to create more accurate technology faster, because they can learn from each other’s data sets and build off the findings.
” I bet in two years, it will be the norm that on the highway, you’re not driving half the time or you’ll be using driver assistants heavily,” he says.
“It’s easier on highways and in suburbs,” says Dixon. “So you can imagine pushing a button on your Uber or Lyft app, and depending on the situation and location, an autonomous car comes or a person comes.”
He adds, “When will an Uber roll up without a person in it in New York City? That’s farther away. But I think that’s more like five years away, not 20.”
Dixon likens the promise of self-driving to Henry Ford’s Model T, which was like the iPhone of the time — a real technology game changer. At first, consumer cars seemed impossible — roads weren’t paved and no one knew how to drive cars. But the product was a hit, and everything changed to make way for them. – Alyson Shontell