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Car and Driver: Elon Musk Says In Two Years a Tesla Could ‘Summon’ Itself Cross-Country

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With version 7.1 of its software, Tesla Motors rolled out a feature Saturday that lets Autopilot-equipped cars semi-autonomously “Summon” themselves from your garage to your driveway. Tesla CEO Elon Musk thinks that in two years, it’s possible a Tesla could summon itself across the country.

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Elon Musk made this prediction, which he said might be “slightly optimistic,” in a press call Sunday, following the release of version 7.1. Musk envisions a scenario where a Tesla owner is in California and their car is in New York, but they can summon their car cross-country autonomously.

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For this to happen, Musk says Autopilot-equipped Teslas would require more hardware than what’s currently installed. Right now, the human operator is “plan B” if Autopilot hardware fails, but with full autonomy, another layer of equipment must be put in place as a fail-safe.

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Cross-country summoning would also require the usage of an automatic charging system, which Tesla has been testing since 2014. In its current form, the automatic charger resembles a mechanical snake that automatically finds the charging port on the car and plugs in. Musk has previously joked about the appearance of the mecha-snake.

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Charger prototype finding its way to Model S. https://t.co/L9E4MR642G

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— Tesla Motors (@TeslaMotors) August 6, 2015

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“We’ll try to make it look less creepy,” said Musk. “It’s kind of fascinating in its creepiness.”

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Musk said the charger likely would first appear at Tesla’s Supercharging stations before it shows up in owner’s garages.

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In a recent interview with Fortune, Musk said that Tesla would achieve completely autonomous driving in two years, so his statements today shouldn’t come as a complete surprise. Still, it’s an utterly fascinating vision of what the future could look like.

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We’re very curious to see if Musk will pull this one off.

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This story originally appeared on Road & Track.

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