Henry Ford did to the horse, what many are saying that Elon Musk is doing to the combustion engine. The collective agreement is slowly becoming one which is in favor of alternatively fueled transportation, especially with federal pressure demanding more efficient vehicles on the roads and highways. With the basic model for the automobile basically unchanged since the late 1800s, the anticipation seems to be that for a revolution in the efficiency and function of vehicles.
Long-standing automakers are slowly becoming encroached upon by tech companies looking to further develop their electronic technology. Google and Apple surely took notice of the long lines that Tesla was able to build for each of the vehicles it currently builds. Ironically, following the success of the Tesla Roadster and around the time that Model S orders began, both billion-dollar companies quietly began forming teams dedicated to automotive design and development.
Tesla fired major shots when it announced that updates for existing cars would include “Auto-Pilot”, a function that is able to safely take away and control all inputs normally handled by the driver while on a highway. Braking, steering, changing lanes, and accelerating are all monitored by the vehicle, something never before seen on a consumer vehicle. Google openly and reportedly Apple, have been developing autonomous function to pair with the electric drivetrain.
With Tesla on track to fulfill over a quarter of a million preorders for its new Model 3, the desire for electric cars and the technology is there. Billions of dollars being funneled into the sector is helping speed up the development time, and some of the brightest minds are being brought into the industry. Seen mostly as a luxury option for a vehicle, autonomous functionality in vehicles currently only benefits the parking industry, by getting average consumers excited about new technology and into new vehicles. With costs dropping and efficiency growing, electrically powered cars driving themselves won’t be out of the ordinary soon.