The man behind Tesla, Elon Musk, has made a bold declaration during a recent interview. The car company’s chief executive officer proclaimed that Tesla vehicles will soon be able to completely drive themselves. Just give Musk around two years.
Before Musk said more about Tesla’s autonomous vehicles, he made one thing clear. There is no way he will be working with 26-year-old George Hotz. A super hacker, Hotz claimed during a recent interview with Bloomberg Business that Tesla had said they would give him a “lucrative contract” should Hotz’ self-driving technology prove to be better than the one created by Tesla’s partner, Mobileye. In response, Tesla had released a statement saying that the company will stick with their Israel-based partner working with other automakers such as BMW, General Motors and Ford Motors. At the center of Mobileye’s driverless technology is a custom chip, which Hotz finds “absurd.” Meanwhile, Musk said that doing a successful demo is one thing, but going into a full-scale production is another. After all, Hotz is a hacker, and according to Musk, “A hack crashes.”
During his interview with Fortune, Musk explained, “Demoware is easy; production software is hard.” He believes the real challenge is to be able to develop a software that works in all kinds of situations relevant to the rest of the world such as dust, rain, winter and summer. This is also what made Husk decide that the young hacker Hotz did not belong on his team. He did admit, though, that Hotz was introduced to him by a Tesla employee as a possible new recruit.
In the world of autonomous vehicles, automakers are pretty much at Level 1. This means their vehicles are equipped with pre-charged brakes and brake assists. Tesla’s release of the autopilot feature last October surpassed it slightly, but Musk is determined to do a whole lot more.
Musk proudly declared, “We’re going to end up with complete autonomy, and I think we will have complete autonomy in approximately two years.” He admitted though that due to regulators, it might take an extra year to unveil it.
And what about Hotz, who claims that he developed his own driverless technology in his garage with just 2,000 lines of code in just a month? Musk has a message for him. “OK, listen buddy, uh, 2,000 lines of code does not cover the 8 billion corner cases of earth.” In short, it takes more than 2,000 lines of code to supply the world with completely autonomous cars.