Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, has now said that Tesla will achieve full self-driving “this year,” instead of the usual “next year” promise. The jokes basically write themselves by now. I mean, this guy has been saying from 2014 that full-self driving will happen “next year” and it hasn’t happened once.
But Musk was like, super serious – or at least that’s what we’re assuming – during his talk at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai.
“This is only speculation, but I think we’ll achieve full self-driving, maybe what you would call four or five, I think later this year,” Musk told his audience.
If you have some knowledge about the SAE standards of driving automation Musk is mentioning, you might start to think he’s just taking you for a ride again 😉 If you’re not up to speed, the SAE standards classify different levels of autonomous driving from 0 to 5. Level 5 basically means a car can drive itself completely, no need for human intervention.
Tesla’s so-called Full Self-Driving beta is actually only at Level 2, meaning the driver still needs to be on high alert and ready to take over at any time so it’s absolutely ridiculous for Musk to say that Tesla will just skip Level 3 and jump straight to four or five this year since the difference between those levels is massive.
Both of them basically allow you to drive without using your hands, but Level 4 vehicles are only autonomous in certain situations or places, like driverless robotaxis that are made for and can only operate in certain cities.
On the other hand, when a vehicle reaches Level 5, it will be able to drive itself completely in any weather, on any type of road, anywhere in the world. No car company has even gotten close to achieving this yet.
We should also mention that there are a ton of ongoing legal issues with Full Self-Driving and Autopilot that might keep holding Tesla back, including a big investigation by the Justice Department.
Alright Elon, we’ll believe it when we actually see it.
Reference- Electrek, Tesla website, Inside EVs, SAE website, NHTSA website, The Drive