Tesla’s new self-driving system could be good enough to road trip from Los Angeles to New York by the end of next year, Elon Musk announced on a press call Wednesday. After revealing the company’s latest hardware, Musk said the company’s goal was to enable a fully autonomous trip from Los Angeles to New York by the end of next year. According to Musk, the trip would occur "without the need for a single touch" from the driver, including recharging the car’s battery.
"Our goal is, we’ll to be able to do a demonstration drive of full autonomy all the way from LA to New York," Musk said on the call. According to Musk, the trip would be "from home in LA, to dropping you off in Times Square, and then the car will go park itself."
That capability will be enabled in large part by the company’s newly announced hardware, which equips new Teslas with eight 360-degree cameras and twelve ultrasonic sensors. The system will also be subject to continual software updates to spot bugs and improve processing.
Tesla’s current, less advanced Autopilot system has drawn some criticism from regulators, particularly after a fatal crash earlier this year that occurred while the driver’s Model S was in Autopilot mode. Earlier this week, Germany’s Transport Minister formally requested that the company stop using the term "autopilot," arguing that the term gave customers the dangerous impression that the cars "can be operated without constant attention of the driver."