Tesla Motors has taken its place at the forefront of automobile innovation, and at least one major businessman is taking notice: Uber’s Travis Kalanick.
At a recent panel during a Top 10 Tech Trends dinner in San Jose, Steve Jurvetson, an early Tesla investor and current company board member, stated that the rideshare company’s CEO told him that if Tesla is able to build a fully-functioning autonomous vehicle by 2020, Uber would want to buy 500,000 of them.READ MORE: UPDATE: Atmospheric River Crashes Onshore; Flood Warning Issued For Napa, Sonoma Counties
According to Charged EVs, that accounts for every model Tesla would be able to create in the auto’s first year.
Jurvetson also discussed the benefits of embracing the driving technology Tesla is developing, saying that the cars are an ideal way to eliminate traffic gridlock, get people moving more efficiently, and provide an exceptionally safe commute to travelers.
“I believe they are already safer than my parents,” Jurvetson said of the “robocars”, “and I would trust my kids with them.”
Although in the panel, the speakers make predictions about how fast Tesla’s production process will actually move, most are hopeful that fully autonomous cars will be available in the next 15 years.
Watch video below of the panel (skip to around 1:34:30 for Jurvetson’s recounting of Kalanick’s comment).READ MORE: Atmospheric River Whipped Winds Roar Through Bay Area; Toppling Dozens Of Drought-Weakened Trees
We’ve reached out to Uber for comment on this story.
Alyssa Pereira is a music writer, web producer, and pop culture blogger for CBS stations in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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