Elon Musk announced that Tesla will be releasing their full self-driving system by the end of 2019.
Just like the current Autopilot system, the “full self-driving system” will require some driver oversight in the beginning.
“I think we will be feature complete, full self-driving, this year… Meaning the car will be able to find you in a parking lot, pick you up and take you all the way to your destination without intervention, this year. I would say I am of certain of that. That is not a question mark,” he said.
Musk also stated his frustrations at people who believe that because something works, that it will work perfectly 100% of the time with no observation.
He was optimistic, nonetheless, about Tesla’s upcoming two-year goals. Musk said that by the end of 2020, the company’s self-driving cars would be able to operate without driver supervision. He even claimed that drivers could fall asleep at the wheel and wake up at their destination.
“My guess as to when we would think it is safe for somebody to essentially fall asleep and wake up at their destination? Probably towards the end of next year. That is when I think it would be safe enough for that.”
Musk also stated why he believes Tesla has an edge against other competitors in the autonomous car industry.
“The reason Tesla is making rapid progress is because we have vastly more data, and this is increasing exponentially,” he said.
He believes that the data is useful for more than just developing the market premium. The data also helps show regulators concrete proof that the system is indeed safer than human drivers on the road.
“I think they will understand data, so if we show you know, billions of miles with a given safety level, then they will appreciate that. It’s not like saying, ‘Hey, we have this really fast computer and everything’s gonna work.’ It’s like, ‘Well, you know, that’s just a statement.’ But if you got hard data, billions of miles, and you could show the accident rates and intervention rates, and that it’s essentially unsafe if you don’t have Autopilot on, which I think is really unequivocal at this point. No matter how you slice the data, it is unequivocal at this point that it’s safer to have Autopilot on.”