Image coutmrtesy: neweconomy
In the beginning of the year, Tesla CEO Elon Musk was confident that Tesla’s FSD (full self-driving) will achieve Level 5 autonomy (full automation) by the end of 2021. However, according to a notice issued by PlainSite, a legal data transparency website, the deadline for delivering a fully autonomous Tesla vehicle this year could be extended.
Further, the memo pointed to comments made by Tesla’s Autopilot system chief C.J. Moore during a conference call with California’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). According to CJ [Moore], “Elon’s tweet does not match engineering reality per CJ [Moore].” Tesla is at Level 2 currently.”
Tesla has been working on its advanced autopilot alternative for quite some time now. It began testing full self-driving (FSD) in a limited beta for a relatively small number of “expert & careful drivers” in October, and since then has increased its FSD beta programme in size.
The DMV memo added that the driver interaction ratio would need to be in the magnitude of 1 or 2 million miles per driver interaction to move into higher levels of autonomy. Further, it was indicated that Musk is inferring on the improvement rates about Level 5 capabilities. In the fourth quarter earnings call, Musk said he was,” highly confident the car will be able to drive itself with reliability in excess of humans this year.”
However, as per the DMV’s memo, the rate of improvement makes Tesla unsure about L5 by the end of this calendar year. According to SAE, the features of an L5 vehicle can drive the vehicle in all situations, while the features of an L2 vehicle can provide steering and brake/acceleration assistance to the driver. Furthermore, when automatic driving functions will be enabled in an L5 vehicle, the person in the driver’s seat will not be driving the car.
Tesla’s latest autopilot options have functions to assist the driver, but they have not yet hit the threshold that the cars are self-driving. In addition, Tesla needs drivers to be completely alert and to keep their hands on the wheel in case they need to take over at any point in time.
The autopilot features of the EV have come under the inspection after a 2019 Tesla Model S crashed near Spring, Texas on 17th April which according to the report was equipped with Autopilot.