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This article is more than 3 month old.

Not great, says Elon Musk about Tesla’s full self-driving system

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The public beta of FSD version 10 is expected to hit early access for Tesla customers in the next four weeks, if Musk lives up to his claims. But the $10,000 charge that customers shell up for the Autopilot feature is out of reach for most.

Not great, says Elon Musk about Tesla’s full self-driving system
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has admitted that their self-driving AI is not yet at the level that the company wants it to be. The company’s full self-driving (FSD) system, which currently is in beta testing, has not achieved the levels it has been hoping for and the company is trying to develop a new single platform for urban driving as well as long cruises.
“FSD Beta 9.2 is actually not great imo, but Autopilot/AI team is rallying to improve as fast as possible. We’re trying to have a single stack for both highway & city streets, but it requires massive NN (neural network) retraining,” Musk replied to a user on Twitter.
The FSD Beta did see an update to version 9.3, which saw several improvements including several advanced driver-assist features via autopilot mode on local, non-highway streets.
Musk tweeted, “Just drove FSD Beta 9.3 from Pasadena to LAX. Much improved!” on August 24.
Tesla’s autonomous driving features have been stuck in development for years, with fully self-driving capabilities being a feature point. In 2016, Musk had said that autonomous vehicles were not that far off.
“I think we're basically less than two years away from complete autonomy,” he said.
The company charges $10,000 for the FSD feature that Musk claims will allow consumers to enjoy Level 5 autonomous driving.
Autonomous vehicles are divided across six levels, differentiated upon the level of human input required. Level 0 vehicles are essentially fully ‘manual’ in terms of control, while Level 2 vehicles feature advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) which can control the steering and the acceleration of the car as the driver monitors the environment. Level 5 vehicles require absolutely no human input, and may not even possess traditional controls like steering wheels, pedals, being fully capable of driving autonomously in every situation.
“All new Tesla cars have the hardware needed in the future for full self-driving in almost all circumstances. The system is designed to be able to conduct short and long distance trips with no action required by the person in the driver’s seat,” the company says on its webpage for its ‘Autopilot’ feature.
But with changes in the software -- FSD 10 will reportedly be relying on a completely new architecture -- and a change in the types of sensors being used to guide the Tesla Autopilot, the company is nowhere close to a full release of its FSD features to the general public.
The public beta of FSD version 10 is expected to hit early access for Tesla customers in the next four weeks, according to statements from Musk. But the $10,000 charge that customers shell up for the Autopilot feature is out of reach for most.
“We should be there with Beta 10, which goes out a week from Friday (no point release this week). It will have a completely retrained NN, so will need another few weeks after that for tuning & bug fixes. Best guess is a public beta button in ~4 weeks,” said Musk.
According to government officials, the wait may be a long one. California’s Department of Motor Vehicles estimated that Tesla’s software is only at Level 2 currently, and Level 5 certainly does not seem possible within the year.
“Tesla is at Level 2 currently. The ratio of driver interaction would need to be in the magnitude of 1 or 2 million miles per driver interaction to move into higher levels of automation,” read a DMV memo that summarised a meeting with C.J. Moore, Tesla’s director of Autopilot software.
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