Tesla Motors is about to become the biggest electric car manufacturer in the world, but the company is also about to unveil an electric vehicle that it claims is the first to be entirely self-driving.
The company said Wednesday that it will begin shipping a model with fully autonomous driving capability to customers by the end of 2018.
Tesla has made a number of other autonomous vehicle announcements this year, including a new driverless vehicle that will be built by German company Otto, and the announcement that it is developing its own “smart” cars.
But it’s the introduction of a fully autonomous vehicle that could be a game-changer for automakers, as the technology is more accessible than what they’ve been able to develop before.
In its announcement, Tesla said that its new car will be “the world’s first fully autonomous commercial vehicle,” and that it was working with other car manufacturers to “demonstrate that the technology will be ready for the mainstream market” by the year 2020.
The announcement was made at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and it’s unclear if the vehicle will actually become fully autonomous.
Tesla, which is headquartered in Palo Alto, California, is currently in talks with a number, including BMW, to build a fully-autonomous car.
In the announcement, the company said that it plans to develop the vehicle in “a highly efficient manner” and that the vehicle has “proven performance and safety.”
The company plans to begin shipping the vehicle by the beginning of the second quarter of 2018, and will begin selling it to buyers by the first quarter of 2020.
Tesla said it has a fleet of more than 6,000 vehicles, including more than 200 Model S and Model X cars, which are expected to be sold in 2021.
It said it is still “building and testing prototypes” for the vehicle, and that “we will continue to build out our capabilities for production.”
Tesla said the company plans “to invest millions of dollars in the next several years in the development of our electric vehicles,” and it also said it expects to be producing 100,000 Model 3 vehicles in 2021, up from 20,000 in 2021 and 5,000 for 2021.
The announcements come as Tesla is still in the early stages of its development of its electric vehicle, which the company describes as a “next-generation autonomous vehicle” that is “designed for a world where cars are safer, less expensive and more convenient to own.”
Tesla has already started work on its new “driverless” car, and CEO Elon Musk said during a Q&A with investors last week that the company has “tremendous progress” on that project.
It’s unclear whether Tesla will be able to make a production version of the vehicle.
Tesla says it plans on selling a fleet that could total more than 20,00 vehicles in the first half of 2021.
At the time, Tesla had said it would deliver 100,00 Model 3 cars by the second half of 2020, and 100,0000 Model X vehicles by the third half of 2019.