‘Didn’t Expect It To Be So Hard’: Elon Musk on Fully Self-Driving Cars

Responding to Twitter user, Elon Musk shared an update on full self-drive for Tesla.

‘Didn’t Expect It To Be So Hard’: Elon Musk on Fully Self-Driving Cars

The Tesla CEO said that full self-drive capability will be based entirely on computer vision

Highlights
  • Tesla has been working on full-self drive for some time now
  • It recently talked of a new system that relies on computer vision
  • Earlier versions also incorporated radar inputs

Tesla CEO Elon Musk candidly said on Twitter that he did not expect full self-drive to be so hard to implement. Musk was replying to a Twitter user who made a tongue-in-cheeck joke about the number of deadlines for full self-drive (FSD) that the carmaker has missed so far. Tesla started working on this technology many years ago, but it has had to keep making changes, moving to a new computer vision system that no longer relies on radar to develop this system.

On July 3 a Twitter user shared a screenshot of Tesla, Model 3, Dual Motor. But on the right of the screen were two words — “Two Weeks”. Even Musk couldn't stop himself from laughing at this tweet. “Changed my cars name just for you, @elonmusk,” the user wrote, referring to the Tesla CEO's comments in the past that the electric car manufacturer was on the cusp of launching its much-anticipated full self-driving (FSD) technology programme.

Musk, however, used the moment to again assure potential as well as present owners of Tesla that the “FSD 9 beta” will be shipped soon. “Generalised self-driving is a hard problem, as it requires solving a large part of real-world AI,” he said, adding that he didn't expect it to be so hard, but the “difficulty is obvious” in retrospect. “Nothing has more degrees of freedom than reality.”

While Tesla's Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta was first released in October 2020 to early access owners as part of a limited programme, it is the FSD v9 Beta update that everyone has been eagerly waiting for, especially because Musk has been promising it for some time now. According to a report in Electrek, a website that reports on electric transportation and sustainable energy, FSD v9 Beta is expected to incorporate Tesla Vision, a new computer vision system from Tesla that relies entirely on cameras without readings from the radar sensor.

On June 7, for instance, Musk tweeted that there was one more production release of pure vision lined up that week, and then FSD beta 9 a week or two later. "V9.0 FSD is also pure vision. Foundational improvements are immense," he said.

In May 2021, however, Tesla told a California regulator that it may not be in a position to offer a fully self-driving technology by the end of this year. And this came months after Tesla CEO Elon Musk said during an earnings conference call he was "highly confident the car will be able to drive itself with reliability in excess of human this year." These comments and missed deadlines show that it may still take a while before a complete self-driven car powered by Tesla software becomes a reality.


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