Musk made the comments during a conference call earlier this week while providing details about the so-called "Level 5" ability of autonomous software that will be available on the Tesla Model 3 next year. The system will include eight cameras on each vehicle with 360-degree visibility and a range of as far as 820 feet. The California-based company will continue to add upgrades to the system every couple of months or so. For newer vehicle owners, that means that some of the original Autopilot features won't immediately be available, including automatic emergency braking and active cruise control. Regardless, Tesla's saying it will have fully-autonomous vehicles on the road a least a couple of years before competitors such as BMW and Ford are planning to do so themselves.
Musk, who says Tesla's vehicles in autonomous-driving mode are at least twice as safe as human-operated vehicles and has blasted the media for publicizing accidents that may have been caused by drivers who were using Autopilot, is announcing the plans as some European regulators have taken issue with the name "Autopilot." The Dutch Road Traffic Service (RDW) is reconsidering its decision to allow the term to be used after allowing for it last year. The concern, which is shared by German regulators, is that the name Autopilot implies that the driver doesn't have to fully pay attention while the system is engaged. Tesla continues to argue that it properly informs drivers that they remain responsible for operating the vehicle even when Autopilot is engaged.