Elon Musk was in top form. In an announcement this week, the founder of the U.S. electric-car company Tesla mentioned almost as a side remark his plans to equip the luxury Model S Sedan with a self-driving function by this summer. Self-driving? German automotive manufacturer Daimler talks continuously about the concept, and the other large companies have also entered the fray. But to actually begin production this year?
Mr. Musk’s plan is radical. It corresponds to the attitude of the technological elite on the West Coast of the United States — create facts and the rest will follow. While German manufacturers are focusing their attention on the legal framework for self-driving cars, Tesla is putting the new vehicles on the roads.
Even more amazing than the when is the how: The introduction of the function is at your fingertips. Mr. Musk effuses about the Tesla software-version 7.0, which should be completed in three to four months.
It will allow the S Model to drive on its own along highways and major thoroughfares. The software is installed through wireless Internet. The hardware, such as sensors and cameras, is already a feature on many vehicles.