Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled a chip which he claims will allow Tesla cars to drive without human input – at an event where guests will ride in driverless Tesla vehicles.
Musk also predicted that the firm would soon make driverless taxis – and that it would manufacture cars without steering wheels.
The chip was shown off in a webcast from the company’s headquarters, in a presentation to Tesla investors at the company’s Californian headquarters.
Musk said, ‘All cars being produced right now have this computer. All Tesla cars being produced right now have everything necessary for full self-driving. All you have to do is improve the software.’
Musk said in an interview last month that his company’s cars – which already come equipped with a limited auto-drive function – will be ready to drive without human input by next year.
Teslas have been involved in a handful of crashes, some of them fatal, involving the use of the company’s AutoPilot system.
The system has automatic steering and cruise control but requires driver attention at the wheel.
But some have voice scepticism, saying that the technology to drive cars safely simply does not exist yet.
Steven E. Shladover, a retired research engineer at the University of California, Berkeley told AP that he was sceptical of Musk’s claims.
Shladover said, ‘It’s all hype. The technology does not exist to do what he is claiming. He doesn’t have it and neither does anybody else.’