In January of this year, Elon Musk stated that he was “highly confident [a Tesla] will be able to drive itself with reliability over human this year.”
Many of us recognized it as nonsense. For years, Musk has boasted about Full Self Driving in Tesla vehicles, a feature that neither exists, as its name implies, nor has been proven to be reliably safe. Furthermore, Tesla has sold billions of dollars in vehicles and taken deposits for years with the expectation that Full Self Driving technology would be available at some point in the future.
Now, a Tesla admission appears to confirm what anyone paying attention already suspected: there will be no Full Self Driving by the end of 2021. And, if we were betting, we’d wager that we won’t see it anytime soon after that.
According to Reuters, the company “told a California regulator that it might not achieve full self-driving technology by the end of this year.” PlainSite, a legal website, first discovered the memo.
“When discussing L5 capabilities, Tesla indicated that Elon is extrapolating on the rates of improvement. Tesla was unable to predict whether the rate of progress would reach L5 by the end of the calendar year, “According to the memo.
It went on to say: “Tesla confirmed that they are still in L2. As Tesla is well aware, the public’s misunderstanding of the technology’s limits, as well as its misuse, can have tragic consequences.”
The California DMV stated in a memo about its March 9 conference call with Tesla representatives: “According to CJ, Elon’s tweet does not correspond to engineering reality. Tesla is currently at Level 2.” Level 2 refers to a semi-automated driving system that still requires human supervision.
Despite this, it hasn’t stopped Tesla from releasing (and then quickly recalling) “beta” versions of its FSD since October of last year. Since a fatal April accident involving a Tesla near Houston, the company’s Autopilot and FSD “features” have come under increased scrutiny.