Elon’s brother Kimbal Musk was recently featured in an interview on YouTube, during which the restaurateur and Tesla and SpaceX board member said he prefers the Model S to his other Teslas.
In a brief interview on In-Depth with Graham Bensinger last week, Kimbal showed off Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) beta to Bensinger, predicting that steering wheels could go away fairly soon, and saying he likes his Model S the best out of the entire lineup. Kimbal also owns a Model X, a Model Y, and a Model 3, and he says that his Cybertruck in Austin is waiting to be picked up, though he prefers the Model S because of his 6-foot-5-stature and its inclusion of the FSD beta.
He also says that when the Model S came out, it was the best car to hit the market for 100 years since the Model T Ford, saying that it’s still the best car on the road 12 years later. In another brief interview with Bensinger, Kimbal talks about the difficulty in bringing the Model S and Model 3 to production, detailing how near the company came to bankruptcy during that time.
Kimbal goes on to talk about the Model S yoke, saying that the idea is that, eventually, the yoke will be able to fold right into the car’s dashboard once autonomy becomes the norm.
When Bensinger asks Kimbal what his “best guess on how far away full autonomy is,” he responds by saying it’s already “pretty full,” going on to activate the FSD beta by navigating to one of his nearby restaurants, The Kitchen. The host follows up, asking how long it will take for the steering wheel to disappear, to which Kimbal says it could happen in just five years.
“I would say maybe five years,” Kimbal responds. “Definitely in this decade. I think that we might come out with the robotaxi before that, and that would have no steering wheel.”
Kimbal also notes that regulators still require a steering wheel, so that will be a hurdle that will need to be overcome before cars without them can become a reality.
You can watch the full interview with Kimbal below, spanning just over three and a half minutes. You can also see him talk to Bensinger about Tesla’s near misses with bankruptcy here.
To be sure, Musk has been ambitious about targets for the FSD beta and other Tesla products, so it’s tough to say with any certainty if Kimbal’s predictions for cars not including steering wheels is even close. His claims about the Model S, however, may not be as far off, coming just as a Model S Plaid was seen being used for benchmark testing at the Ferrari factory in Maranello.
It also comes as Tesla is very gradually rolling out its FSD beta version 12, which is expected to help unlock the next phase of autonomous driving due to its use of end-to-end neural network control trained by millions of video clips from real-time driving behavior.