That's way sooner than other companies are talking. Google is testing robot drivers and figures the technology could be ready in three-to-five years if the legal hurdles can be overcome, but of course the search company doesn't build cars. Nissan has promised autonomous vehicles by 2020 and other automakers agree with the end of the decade timeline. The trick to Tesla's autopilot system is that it doesn't really result in an autonomous car. Instead, according to Reuters, the Tesla system would handle 90 percent of the driving, leaving the human driver there to, what exactly? Pay attention to the road 100 percent of the time for the 10 percent of the time she needs to do something? To us, a 90-percent self-driving car sounds more like an incredibly safe one, but not one with autopilot. Musk told the Financial Times that fully autonomous cars will take longer than three short years.
The official job listing – one of them, at least – says Tesla is looking for a radar hardware engineer who, "has 3-10 years of design and release responsibility on sensors (Radar, Cameras, Lidar, and Ultrasound)/active safety systems. This engineer will be responsible for translating Tesla's autopilot roadmap into active safety features and into requirements. The engineer will actively drive the features into production and evaluate future technologies." Interesting choice of verb, there, don't you think?