Tesla missed Elon Musk’s deadline to release what he calls Full Self-Driving “feature-complete” out “at least in the early access program” by the end of last year, but the CEO says that it is still coming ‘”soon.”
Autopilot is currently meant for highway driving, and the new Smart Summon, which Tesla recently released in its V10 software update, handles low-speed driving in parking lots.
When Musk talks about a “feature-complete” version of Tesla’s full self-driving system, he means closing the gap between the two features with city driving capability.
The CEO said about the term during an earnings call last year:
Yeah, feature-complete, I mean, it’s the car able to drive from one’s house to work, most likely without interventions. So it will still be supervised, but it will be able to drive — it will fill in the gap from low-speed autonomy with Summon. You’ve got high-speed autonomy on the highway, and intermediate speed autonomy, which really just means traffic lights and stop signs.
So feature-complete means it’s most likely able to do that without intervention, without human intervention, but it would still be supervised. And I’ve gone through this timeline before several times, but it is often misconstrued that there’s three major levels to autonomy. There’s the car being able to be autonomous, but requiring supervision and intervention at times. That’s feature complete. Then it doesn’t mean like every scenario, everywhere on earth, including every corner case, it just means most of the time.
At the time, Musk said that this version of full self-driving would “at least be in the early access program by the end of the year.”
The early access program is a now quite large group of Tesla owners who get new software updates early in exchange for providing feedback to Tesla.
No one in the early access program has reported receiving what Musk described as “feature-complete,” but the CEO says that it is still coming “soon” in a Tweet this weekend:
— Buff Mage (@elonmusk) January 11, 2020
Musk didn’t offer a specific timeline for the release other than his one-word response.
I wouldn’t hold my breath on this one. If it still has to go through the EAP, it may be an update that stays in the program for a long time.
We have seen that happen with major Autopilot updates before.
However, since it will still require human intervention and supervision, it kind of has a similar purpose in the EAP and the wider release.
Just like Tesla asking feedback to its early access owners, the automaker is going to use data from its large fleet of customers using the new feature in order to improve — eventually maybe enough to not require driver interventions or supervision.
What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.
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