Tesla plans to jump into the self-driving car space like many other manufacturers, according to the company's website. A job listing seeks someone for the position of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems Controls Engineer, and Wired notes the job comes with a goal of creating its own autonomous driving solution.
Tesla is just now starting the discussion, that perhaps should have started much earlier. The Elon Musk-founded company is leading the industry in electric vehicles, but in some respects lagging behind in the development of self-driving vehicles. Competitors including Nissan, Mercedes, Audi, Cadillac and Google have all begun the pursuit of a self-driving vehicle, with Nissan even making the promise of making one available to the masses by 2020.
Tesla's Model S, for example, lacks adaptive cruise control that is the basis of self-driving - a feature some other luxury vehicles already have. However, the job listing indicates such features could come to the Model S line in the near future, as Tesla advances its technologies.
Musk hasn't come out and officially disclosed the plans for a self-driving electric vehicle, but Monday's job listing provides a detailed description of what we might see out of the company in the near future. The person holding the position will be “responsible for developing vehicle-level decision-making and lateral and longitudinal control strategies for Tesla’s effort to pioneer fully automated driving”.
Even with the inner-workings for a self-driving car beginning inside of Tesla, we wouldn't count on it being released any time soon. These types of technologies take close to a decade to develop. Knowing Tesla's current rate of innovation, we might be surprised sooner than expected.