At the turn of the last century, the most widely used means of transportation was still the horse driven carriage or buggy. In fact, horse carriages were threatening public health similarly to how internal combustion automobiles do today, only much worse due to carbon emissions and particle matter. In the 1800s, the manure crisis threatened urban sanitation with a disaster. The Times of London estimated in 1894 that the situation was so dire that in 50 years every street in the city would be buried 9ft deep in horse droppings. Now, Elon Musk – the founder of Tesla Motors – says cars as we know them today will soon join horses. He says cars that aren’t capable of driving around autonomously will be so obsolete that you won’t find them anywhere else than collections.
“I think that all cars will go fully autonomous in long-term. I think it will be quite unusual to see cars that don’t have full autonomy,” Musk said.
“Any cars that are being made that don’t have full autonomy will have negative value. It will be like owning a horse. You will only be owning it for sentimental reasons,” he added during a conference call on on Wednesday.
Last month, Tesla rolled out an update that equipped every Model S car with self-driving features, like auto-pilot. The system enables functions like automatic braking, automatic steering, self-parallel parking, and automatic lane change. No Tesla Car is self-driving yet, but evolution in this direction is inevitable.