Tesla CEO Elon Musk predicts that next year his all-electric car manufacturer will be able to release a fully autonomous feature in some jurisdictions. It would be a huge milestone for not only Tesla, but the future of autonomous driving as a whole.
Yesterday, Musk accepted the Axel Springer Award in Germany, where he conducted a Q&A session with CEO Mathias Döpfner covering a broad range of automotive and space exploration topics.
Musk was asked about Tesla’s ability to create a fully autonomous vehicle for customers during the talk, which was documented and posted to YouTube. Musk’s reaction revealed that he thinks Tesla will do it next year, and that it could be available in its cars by 2021.
Musk’s exact answer was:
“I am extremely confident of achieving full autonomy and releasing it to the Tesla customer base next year. But I think at least some jurisdictions are going to allow full self-driving next year.”
Tesla’s new FSD and Autopilot functionality are not permitted anywhere in the world as of now. Europe is one of the most commonly known regions where the self-driving functionality has not received full regulatory approval. Many FSD suite features have been halted by the European Union from being issued to drivers. More than 50 countries have agreed on similar rules, including Japan, South Korea, and the EU Member States, which could take over some driving features in June. Full self-driving capabilities, however, are still not permitted, TechXplore reported.
Musk also said that Tesla would slowly push out FSD and Autopilot features in international markets, and that they would not be available until it had found a way to standardize FSD software traffic laws. Musk once clarified that before rolling it out, it was crucial for Tesla to get the software absolutely right, most likely because any significant malfunction or error in the ability of FSD to maneuver traffic might set the company back several years in terms of technological growth.
But in terms of autonomous driving laws, this doesn’t deter certain areas in the United States from making great strides. 29 U.S. states have already passed legislation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, that would allow autonomous vehicles to perform self-driving tasks. Executive orders relating to autonomous vehicles have been issued by governors in 11 states.
Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin are the 29 states, and the NCSL says Washington D.C.
Aside from its future developments, Tesla is probably not the only organization that considers self-driving technology. General Motors has its own version, which has gained popularity to boost driver safety, called Super Cruise.
Make no mistake, after FSD is mastered, Musk has no intention of individuals ever driving cars. He made it clear during the presentation that commuting to work and working in stressful situations, such as gridlocked traffic, would possibly be the most beneficial time to use a self-driving vehicle.
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