Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny come once a year, everyone celebrates their birthday once, and once Elon Musk promises fully autonomous driving “in a year at the latest.” Now it was that time again, according to Musk, Teslas will be driving unsupervised in a year. Elon Musk polarises: his fans celebrate him as a genius and visionary, while his opponents see him as dander and a chatterbox.
Perhaps the best proof of both is the topic of independent driving: because Musk has been promising full autonomy for years and already offers the autopilot and a beta called Full Self Driving (FSD). However, critics point out that the autopilot is just a silly auxiliary function and that FSD is still a long way from (fully autonomous) driving capability. But Elon Musk also has a tradition of sorts: he basically announces every year that the technology at Tesla is about to break through or is ready for the market.
In a year it’s the time! Real! word of honor!
Now it was that time again: Musk had a gig in Brazil and said – again – that in a year’s time Tesla will offer self-driving cars that don’t need a driver to supervise – directly behind the wheel and not at all. That’s a very concrete statement, and some might point out that the Tesla boss already knows what he’s talking about. The problem: He’s been similarly specific several times in the past.
As Electrek writes, he has previously promised that Tesla will put “a million robot taxis on the road by the end of 2020”. This became “a million drivers in the FSD beta” a few days ago. Currently, the FSD Beta is more or less functional enough to allow Teslas to drive around without human supervision, but that’s a long way off. Tesla has certainly come a long way and one should not downplay the efforts. But maybe it would be better for everyone involved if the boss didn’t resort to hype guns at every opportunity.
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