Tesla founder Elon Musk, a man whose history is peppered with promises and goals he failed to meet, offered up a doozy on Monday about our tech-heavy future: nearly all new vehicles will be capable of full autonomy within 10 years. But even if that’s true, we’re nowhere close to figuring everything else out that goes along with that.
“Ten years, yeah,” Musk said at the World Government Summit in Dubai, without a hint of sarcasm. To his credit, Musk highlights that it’ll take — at the very least — a generation until robot cars monopolize the roadways. According to Electreck, which first highlighted his remarks, 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 20-25 years.
So the point for which we see autonomy appear will not be the point when we see a massive impact on people because it will take a lot of time to make enough autonomous vehicles to disrupt. That disruption will take place for about 20 years.
Mmm ... disruption ... love it. Musk’s obviously bullish because he has invested his reputation and a boatload of money into making self-driving and electric cars a reality; the billionaire has said he wants to send a Tesla on an autonomous cross-country trip sometime this year.
But 10 years? Lordy.