Why Elon Musk thinks he can get Tesla’s self-driving tech in wide release by year-end

STAVANGER, Norway — Tesla CEO Elon Musk aims to get the automaker’s self-driving technology ready by year-end and hopes it could be in wide release in the U.S. and possibly in Europe, depending on regulatory approval.

Speaking at an energy conference in Norway on Monday, Musk said his attention was currently focused on his SpaceX Starship spacecraft and self-driving Tesla cars.

“The two technologies I am focused on, trying to ideally get done before the end of the year, are getting our Starship into orbit … and then having Tesla cars to be able to do self-driving.”

“Have self-driving in wide release at least in the U.S., and … potentially in Europe, depending on regulatory approval,” Musk told the audience.

Oil, gas needed

Earlier, Musk said the world must continue to extract oil and gas in order to sustain civilization, while also developing sustainable sources of energy.

“Realistically I think we need to use oil and gas in the short term, because otherwise civilization will crumble,” Musk told reporters on the sidelines of the conference.

Asked if Norway should continue to drill for oil and gas, Musk said: “I think some additional exploration is warranted at this time.”

“One of the biggest challenges the world has ever faced is the transition to sustainable energy and to a sustainable economy,” he said. “That will take some decades to complete.”

He said offshore wind power generation in the North Sea, combined with stationary battery packs, could become a key source of energy. “It could provide a strong, sustainable energy source in winter,” he added.

Europe’s politicians have already earmarked about 280 billion euros ($278 billion) to ease the pain of surging prices for businesses and consumers, but the aid risks being dwarfed by the scale of the crisis. The European Union will call an emergency meeting of energy ministers to discuss bloc-wide solutions.

Musk said he is also a proponent of nuclear energy.

“If you have a well-designed nuclear plant, you should not shut it down — especially right now,” he said.

Bloomberg contributed to this report

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