Tesla CEO: Fully autonomous cars will be 10X safer than human drivers

Startup is developing its own autonomous driving tech, talking with suppliers.

After confirming that Tesla Motors' upcoming Model III will be partially self-driving, company CEO Elon Musk now suggests fully autonomous vehicles will be at least 10 times safer than human-piloted vehicles when they arrive in the coming years.

The California-based startup's engineers are already doing "quite a bit of development" on autonomous technology, which will likely be ready for market within five to six years, Musk told The Wall Street Journal in an interview that echoes recent comments.

The executive suggests object recognition still stands as the biggest hurdle to widespread implementation, as computers and sensors attempt to identify and map potential obstacles that affect navigation.

Tesla is working on the necessary software for autonomous operation, while the sensors and other electronic components will likely be sourced from supplier partners.

Although Tesla and several other automakers are expected to have autonomous vehicles ready by 2020, Musk expects the lagging legislative process to add several more years as officials draft new regulations for the technology.

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