It’s old news that Tesla is the world leader in impressive, innovative, and often literally unbelievable vehicular technology, and a recent statement from CEO Elon Musk confirms that they’re continuing to push the limits of technological innovation.

This time we’re talking about the much-hyped autonomous connected car, which Musk announced will be ready to hit the pavement in just five or six years’ time. And the magically self-driving cars, he explained, will actually be 10 times safer than those operated by actual people. If this estimation proves accurate, then we’re talking about revolutionizing the way we get around every single day, a revolution Tesla will no doubt be driving front and center.

Potential Roadblocks

As simple as Musk makes it sound, however, there is no magic potion for a self-driving car, nor a simple process to making it a reality. Even once the necessarily amazing technology is fully-developed and readily available, it will still take at least a few more years to overcome legal obstacles that are sure to come up — someone needs to approve these humanless cars before we see them on the road. And that someone is inevitably the federal government.

Tesla’s been relatively secretive about the whole process, carefully failing to mention any specific development partners, and instead alluding that they’ve done a good amount of R&D in-house. Musk also hinted at some hefty fundraising, and projections suggest that Tesla’s raised at least $2.3 billion in the early months of this year alone to invest in new development — not to mention that they’ll be raking in the dough once their new Model X SUV finally launches.

This general lack of public intel on Tesla’s strategy will make it even harder for competitors to get an idea of how they can keep up with the technology they’re working on behind closed doors — the developments are already extremely advanced as it is, and five years is not a lot of time for other companies to plan and execute a strategy to develop such complex technology. If these competitors want even a puncher’s chance at staying in the game, companies need to invest now in the technology and the talented developers necessary to keep up with the top-notch innovation going on over at Tesla.

A Microcosm of a Revolution in Progress

These cars are just a microcosm of the “connected things” revolution that’s been sweeping the tech sphere in the last few years, and the perfect example of the potential for the objects we use daily to completely integrate with the technology we already use on a daily basis. Not only is the concept of a self-driving car borderline mind-blowing, but it brings with it some questions and implications that the entire world of connected devices will soon have to directly address.

Although Tesla has clearly had these developments under way for several years now, there’s still a chance for competitors to crack down on their investments and do what they have to do to stay up to speed — the options are out there, and companies just have to be willing take the plunge.

This announcement from Tesla should serve as an inspiration for necessary investment, and an exciting one at that — technological innovations like these give us a glimpse of an entire future of “smart” and “connected” things that will likely make our lives not only more interesting, but also much, much easier.