It’s no secret that Elon Musk is a fan of self-driving technology for automobiles. In fact, the Tesla boss thinks that some time in the not too distant future, manually driven cars will and should be banned.
While we’re still along way off from that point in time, the self-driving car is now unequivocally on its way. With a smattering of major companies now testing out the technology, Tesla is jumping ahead of all of them, announcing that a self-driving Model S will be available this summer.
Last fall, the company announced the future arrival of its new Autopilot feature, which will allow the vehicle to perform basic functions on its own. These include, parking, lane changing, and reading speed limit signs. Now, Tesla has announced that the feature will also allow the vehicle to drive itself on highway and major-roadway situations, including being able to merge on and off of highway ramps.
However, Musk has said that the Autopilot feature, though technically capable of handling urban driving, will come disabled with respect to this capability, citing safety concerns. Musk went on to comment,
“It is technically capable of going from parking lot to parking lot.
But we won’t be enabling that for users with this hardware suite, because we don’t think it’s likely to be safe in suburban neighborhoods.”
Also included in the package is the ability of the car to be summoned by the driver with a smartphone or made to go and park itself. The first vehicles equipped with the aforementioned Autopilot capability are due to arrive this summer.