Musk's prediction came during a tech conference in San Jose, California, where he talked about the future of autonomous-drive vehicles and Tesla's plans to develop them.
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"People see us as the leader of electric cars, but we want to be the leader of autonomous-drive vehicles," he said.
A few hours after his initial comments, Musk took to Twitter to clarify.
Tesla is developing and plans to implement autopilot technology in its vehicles within the next couple of years. While the company has not outlined specifics of how its cars will operate in autopilot mode, most expect the technology will allow drivers the opportunity to have the vehicle control steering and speed in certain environments, such as highways.
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Autopilot technology is being developed by a number of automakers and suppliers, and various versions are expected to be incorporated into new vehicles starting in 2017 or 2018. As for fully autonomous-drive vehicles, most in the auto industry forecast that conversion will not happen until 2030 or 2035 at the earliest.