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Tesla CEO Elon Musk has made a playful and colorful statement about the Model S Plaid. Musk says the car’s machine learning systems are so intuitive that it almost feels like telepathy. So will drivers comfortably adapt to their car predicting their every move, or is it enough to evoke the chills of the uncanny valley?

Can the Tesla Model S Plaid read your thoughts?

A black Tesla Model S Plaid in a black room
Tesla Model S Plaid | Tesla

Elon Musk is known for attention-getting statements. During the official reveal event of the Model S Plaid, he offered a quote no one will soon forget. The Tesla founder was discussing the Model S Plaid’s advanced features when he made his whimsical comment.

As owners drive their Model S Plaid, the car begins to learn certain patterns, locations, and behaviors. This allows the car to make decisions based on learned behavior preemptively. Examples of how this could work include learning a favored route or at which angle to back out of a familiar location.

While it may not be telepathy, this system is fascinating. This application is a perfect example of how machine learning can make everyday life safer and easier. It’s another step closer to truly autonomous production cars.

Beyond autopilot and parking assit

Artificial Intelligence will only increase its presence in everyday life. Tesla’s AI systems could be applied to a nearly limitless number of applications. Beyond just learning a driver’s route to work, AI could be programmed to control any aspect of a vehicle.

Cars could respond to changes in weather in real-time. Automatic climate control that responds to changes in ambient temperature is easily achieved with machine learning. Adjusting the headlights, turning on windshield wipers, or defrosting the windshield could all become tasks cars perform for themselves.

Tesla’s Full Self Driving mode demonstrates how many processes a car’s AI system can process. FSD has been scrutinized by many, including skeptics and the state government of California. Many feel the technology is fundamentally unsafe. Elon Musk has been accused of exaggerating its readiness.

Elon Musk’s colorful expression is a sign of his passion for engineering

Tesla CEO Elon Musk making a double thumbs up gesture
Elon Musk | Britta Pedersen-Pool via Getty Images

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A common theme in Elon Musk’s statements and interview responses is the influence of science fiction on his work. This influence is overt in projects like SpaceX or the Cybertruck. The passionate CEO is often visibly animated when talking about the development of his products.

Science fiction blurs the lines between the practical and the mystical. The genre appeals to many lovers of science because of this flattering comparison. For them, science is already as exciting as the supernatural. Tesla’s CEO is, above all else, an enthusiast for advancement and innovation.

Musk’s frequent use of colorful and illustrative expression stems from this dedication and passion for science. While some may criticize his style of expression, others see an impassioned creator. Whichever camp one falls in, Elon Musk and Tesla’s incredible advancements to bring machine learning to everyday driving cannot be denied.

The mainstream adoption of self-driving cars is inevitable, but the timeline is somewhat fuzzy. Machine learning is already omnipresent. The question is, when will people accept cars that think for themselves?