Elon Musk is ramping up engineering teams for fully autonomous cars

Elon Musk and Tesla want to take their cars to Level 4 or 5 autonomy. This will require some breakthroughs. It goes without saying that Google has made astonishing progress with its Google Car, but that vehicle isn’t at all ready to be manufactured in significant numbers. It’s more of an adorable platform to provide a proof-of-concept.

Musk is betting that software will enable full autonomy within 5 years.

Every Autopilot-enabled Tesla is already feeding data back to the mother ship, providing a basis for tweaking the technology for future updates. Tesla’s vehicles are quite literally learning the roads that they drive on and are enriching the company’s overall mapping efforts. This is something of a secret weapon for Tesla autonomous-driving initiatives: Its entire fleet can learn to drive itself.