New Tesla tech will let drivers safely ‘fall asleep’ at the wheel

New Tesla tech will let drivers safely ‘fall asleep’ at the wheel
Drivers could soon be able to fall asleep at the wheel without putting themselves or others at risk – that’s according to Elon Musk.

The billionaire boss of Tesla says driverless technology that hands over control to the vehicle could be in place as early as next year.

Speaking on a podcast for Ark Invest, Musk also said in-car tech safe enough to be used without human monitoring could be available by the start of 2021.

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However, Musk warned that regulators would have to sign off the driverless technology before drivers can catch 40 winks on their drive home.

“I think we will be feature-complete, full self-driving this year ... meaning the car will be able to find you in a parking lot, pick you up, take you all the way to your destination without intervention this year.”

He added: “My guess as to when we would think it’s safe for somebody to essentially fall asleep and wake up at the destination? Probably towards the end of next year.

“That’s when I would think it’s most likely it will be safe enough for that. I don’t know when regulators will agree.”

When asked about Musk’s claims, a Tesla spokesman declined to comment.

Driverless technology is currently split into five levels of automation, ranging from level one (such as braking assistance) all the way up to level five (full automation without human input).

Currently, only vehicles up to level two are allowed to legally drive on the UK’s roads, ensuring that drivers remain in control of their vehicles at all times.

However, the UK government is currently pushing to further this move towards self-driving cars, with Chancellor Philip Hammond aiming for “genuine driverless” cars to be on UK roads by 2021.

For more information on autonomous tech, check out the RAC’s guide to driverless cars.

Copyright Press Association 2019. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.

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