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Is Tesla Really Ahead on Self-Driving Cars?

By John Rosevear - Sep 21, 2013 at 9:00AM

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk promised cars that would be self driving 90% of the time in three years. That sounds like science fiction -- but is Tesla really ahead of the curve?

The amenities and safety features in Tesla's Model S compete well with those in the gas-powered luxury cars of today -- but to keep up with the likes of Mercedes-Benz, even Tesla will have to push technology further. Photo credit: Tesla Motors

Tesla Motors (TSLA -0.84%) and its brash CEO, Elon Musk, love nothing more than to name an outrageous-sounding technological goal -- and then meet it. The latest: Musk said this week that Tesla will be able to offer cars that are (mostly) self-driving in three years.

That's way ahead of giants General Motors (GM -1.51%) and Toyota (TM 0.85%), which have been saying that 2020 is a more likely date for the arrival of autonomous cars. In this video, Fool contributor John Rosevear looks at what Musk really said and argues that Tesla's goal this time isn't revolutionary -- instead, it's more likely to be the basic price of admission to the luxury-car market in a few years' time.

Fool contributor John Rosevear owns shares of Ford and General Motors. The Motley Fool recommends Ford, General Motors, and Tesla Motors and owns shares of Ford and Tesla Motors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Tesla, Inc. Stock Quote
Tesla, Inc.
TSLA
$911.99 (-0.84%) $-7.70
Ford Motor Company Stock Quote
Ford Motor Company
F
$16.03 (-2.44%) $0.40
Toyota Motor Corporation Stock Quote
Toyota Motor Corporation
TM
$160.77 (0.85%) $1.35
General Motors Company Stock Quote
General Motors Company
GM
$38.40 (-1.51%) $0.59
Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft Stock Quote
Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft
VWAGY
$19.94 (-2.21%) $0.45

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