- The new ‘Cats’ trailer is here to make you want to claw your eyes out Thursday 7:59 PM
- Bella Thorne claims Tana Mongeau ‘broke girl code’ in a series of messy tweets Thursday 7:00 PM
- Redditors keep this data engineer’s plants alive for him Thursday 5:20 PM
- Professor writes article defending ‘Asian romantic preference’—and no one is here for it Thursday 4:57 PM
- Ditch Pornhub and support adult content creators instead Thursday 4:46 PM
- Fans grieve Kyoto Animation Studio fire with #PrayforKyoAni Thursday 4:18 PM
- Netflix’s ‘Secret Obsession’ isn’t just terrible—it’s boring as hell Thursday 3:30 PM
- Instagram expands experiment of hiding likes to 6 more countries Thursday 3:20 PM
- Man asks woman to stop speaking Spanish on a plane—and bystanders start speaking Spanish Thursday 12:55 PM
- Schumer calls on FBI, FTC to investigate FaceApp Thursday 12:41 PM
- Netflix loses subscribers—but hopes some tentpole shows can save it Thursday 12:10 PM
- Man utterly roasted for saying women can’t ask for equality in revealing clothing Thursday 12:07 PM
- Instagram struggles to remove photos of Bianca Devins’ dead body Thursday 11:14 AM
- ‘Storm Area 51’ creator says its gotten so big he’s worried about the FBI Thursday 10:49 AM
- Everyone loves Q baby, the baby who apparently supports QAnon Thursday 9:53 AM
Self-driving cars are coming sooner than expected, according to Elon Musk
The Tesla CEO expects level 5 automation by 2019.
Elon Musk explained how he plans to end traffic, replace roof tiles with solar panels, and bring one million people up to Mars in a revealing TED talk on Friday. While those mind-numbing concepts will take several years or even decades to come true, Musk says another one of his radical ideas will be a reality in 2019: self-driving cars.
Answering a question about the timeline for autonomy, Musk said he expects people to be sleeping in their self-driving cars in the next two years. German giants Daimler and Bosch estimate fully autonomous vehicles will become available “within 5 years,” while others like Audi point to a 2020 release date.
A look at where we are at now and what Musk wants to achieve might make you a bit less optimistic about his statements. There are five levels of self-driving cars, as defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers:
Level 0: No automation.
Level 1: Uses information about the driver’s environment to assistant with either steering or acceleration/deceleration while all other functions are performed by the driver.
Level 2: This level has at least one system that assists with both steering and acceleration/deceleration, while the driver does the rest.
Level 3: This is the first level controlled primarily by an automated system, but it still expects a driver to intervene if necessary. All “safety-critical” functions can be controlled by the vehicle.
Level 4: The first fully autonomous setup, level 4 is only capable of functioning with specific operating domains, like roadway types, speed range, and environmental conditions.
Level 5: A fully autonomous vehicle capable of operating by itself under any condition in all environments.
Most cars fall under level 0 automation, though newer cars with assistance modes reach to level 1 or level 2. Tesla’s current autopilot system is considered level 2 or level 3, depending on who you ask. A number of auto executives at rival companies have denounced level 3 automation, claiming it is unreasonable and irresponsible to expect a driver to intervene with an autonomous system if they are required to.
But regardless of whether auto manufacturers release level 3 cars or skip to level 4, the jump that Musk anticipates—from a car that is primarily operated by its driver to one powered by a fully autonomous system—sounds hopeful at best. Then again, shutting up naysayers is kind of Musk’s thing.
Phillip Tracy is a former technology staff writer at the Daily Dot. He's an expert on smartphones, social media trends, and gadgets. He previously reported on IoT and telecom for RCR Wireless News and contributed to NewBay Media magazine. He now writes for Laptop magazine.