Today, it released version 7.1 of its software for the Model S and X that includes a “Summon” feature that enables the car to drive itself without anyone inside. More specifically, using their key fob, Tesla owners can now direct their cars to park themselves in a spot within 39 feet, and to drive themselves into and out of their parking garages.
Back in October, when Tesla’s last software update enabled cars to steer, change lanes, and park on their own, Tesla CEO Elon Musk had said he envisioned fully driverless cars.
He added in a mid October press briefing that while its still “important to exercise great caution at this early stage,” in the long term, he added, people will not need hands on the wheel — and eventually there won’t be wheels and pedals.”
For now, the wheels and pedals remain. For the beginning and end of the drive, however, the humans are now optional.
The future of self-driving cars is near. This is probably the last decade where everyone on this planet can feel the joy of driving his/her own car. It's a likelihood that our children wouldn't be able to use the wheel and pedals for driving a car.
Self-driving cars like Tesla, will help to improve safety on the road. On the other hand the humans will be faced with problems known mainly in the IT industry. There have to be good protection against hacking type of attacks. Or computer bugs.
Driving the car is not only about going from one place to another. A driver has to evaulate potential problems on the road and think about how to address them. From time to time, he/she has to also take risks to avoid any danger. Public streets are not the same as protected railway corridors.
Basically computers are not designed to fully recognize the human behavior. Even there are projects focused on machine learning (IBM Watson, etc...), no one hasn't explored the human brain to be 100% sure how is it working. For these reasons cannot be self-driving cars considered as a full substitution to a classic type of cars..