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Tesla Founder Calls Self-Driving Cars Within Three Years 'Not Speculation

SpaceX billionaire founder and chief executive, and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, poses beside a Tesla, after his interview on "Countdown to the Closing Bell," on the Fox Business Network, in New York, Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014. On Tuesday, NASA picked Boeing and SpaceX to transport astronauts to the International Space Station in the next few years.(AP Photo/Richard Drew) AP Photo/Richard Drew

Tesla Motors founder and CEO Elon Musk said his company is aiming to manufacture vehicles with 90 percent autonomy within the next three years. But unlike other car companies that have reportedly been developing similar technologies, Musk said at this point his ambitious goal is "not speculation," Financial Times reported.

Tesla Motors and SpaceX billionaire founder and CEO Elon Musk poses beside a Tesla, Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Until now, automakers have either intentionally or unintentionally shied away from producing cars that drive themselves because of the enormous legal risks that would be associated. They worry they'll be sued whenever an accident occurs. And while driverless cars, free of human error and pre-programmed to obey traffic laws, could appeal to insurance providers, Reuters reported there are plenty of roadblocks still in the way.

The European Union, for example, has laws that require drivers to be at control of the wheel at all times. That's not to mention all the likely consumer skepticism. From a technology standpoint, Musk acknowledged that getting from 90 percent autonomy to full autonomy will be "incredibly hard," IEEE Spectrum reported.

Even so, expect nothing but full throttle from the man whose other companies (or companies he helped start) develop solar power, transact millions of online payments each day, and promote private space travel.

Musk told ISEE Spectrum Tesla's self-driving technology is being done through "internal development," rather than through any outside companies.

(H/T: IEEE Spectrum)

Follow Jon Street (@JonStreet) on Twitter 

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