Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that in a decade most new cars would be built with full autonomy.
“I think we will see autonomy and artificial intelligence advance tremendously,” Musk said at the World Government Summit in Dubai on Monday. “My guess is that in probably 10 years it will be very unusual for cars to be built that are not fully autonomous.”
Tesla’s cars are already being produced with a sensor system that Musk says can enable full autonomy. And Musk has said Tesla aims to drive one of its cars in autonomous mode across the country by the end of this year.
But just because Tesla vehicles have the tech to enable full autonomy doesn’t mean the company has rolled out its self-driving system. Tesla says its autonomous feature depends on more software validation and regulatory approval.
Other major automakers have similar timelines for their autonomous vehicles. Ford, for example, aims to roll out its Level 4 autonomous car in a commercial setting by 2021. Others are working to launch Level 3 autonomous systems by 2021.
But while driverless cars will be here soon, it will take some time before people feel the true effect of the technology, Musk said.
“There are about 2 billion cars in the world, and the total annual production capacity is about 100 million cars, which makes sense since the average life of a car before being totally scrapped is about 20 to 25 years,” Musk said.
“So the point at which we see autonomy appear will not be the point at which there is a massive societal impact on people, because it will take a lot of time to make enough autonomous vehicles to disrupt,” he added. “So that disruption will take place over about 20 years.”