The California-based company's autonomous car would allow the driver to hand 90 percent of the control of the car over to the vehicle's computer system, Musk said in an interview with the Financial Times newspaper.
Fully autonomous cars would take longer to develop, he said.
The self-driving car would be developed in-house using Tesla's own technology, not that of another company, Musk said in comments confirmed by a Tesla spokesperson.
Musk's three-year timeline is more ambitious than timelines set out by other carmakers, as well as analysts that say it will take 10 to 15 years before self-driving cars become a reality.
Germany's Daimler AG and Japan's Nissan have both said they hope to begin selling self-driving cars by the end of the decade.
SOURCES - Telsa, Financial Times, Reuters
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