Elon Musk says Tesla will have self-driving cars without the need for human drivers this time next year

Elon Musk told reporters in Brazil that Tesla will have self-driving cars without the need for human drivers behind the wheel for supervision (or at all really) around this time next year.

It’s Musk’s latest timeline on Tesla’s full self-driving effort, but he has always been wrong about those in the past.

The Tesla CEO was in Brazil on Friday. The reason for the trip was a partnership with the local government to launch a program to connect Amazonian regions with SpaceX’s Starlink satellite-based internet, but he also reportedly talked about Tesla to local reporters.

Musk said that Tesla will have self-driving cars without the need for people behind the wheel about a year from now – therefore, around May 2023.

It’s not the first time that Musk made this announcement.

He has famously been claiming that Tesla will have 1 million robotaxis on the road by the end of the year since 2020.

Recently, we reported that for this year, Musk changed Tesla’s 1 million robotaxis by end of the year goal to ‘1 million people in FSD Beta’. There is a massive difference between the two.

The term “robotaxi” implies that a vehicle can provide a taxi service without a driver at the wheel.

On the other hand, Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta has all the features of a self-driving system, but they often fail, which is why it requires a driver behind the wheel at all-time to be attentive and ready to take control.

The responsibility also lies with the driver behind the wheel.

The idea is that Tesla keeps improving the system by testing through its FSD beta fleet and collecting data to train its neural nets. With enough improvements, Tesla hopes that its FSD system will eventually become safe enough to use without drivers monitoring it, but there have been doubts about making it happen after several missed timelines.

Electrek’s Take

As I’ve stated before, I have a lot of appreciation for Tesla’s effort to develop a self-driving system. It’s an extremely difficult thing to do, and I think that there’s a lot that makes sense in the company’s approach to developing a system based on computer vision and artificial intelligence.

However, I think that there are many issues in how Tesla has been promoting the system using timelines that Musk hyped up every chance he could get, even though he has been wrong about them several times.

At least he has admitted recently the difficulty of predicting solving self-driving and that he might be wrong again, but evidently, it is not stopping him from making a new prediction.

At this point, I’ll believe it when I see it.

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