Not this year. Tesla’s advanced driver assistance software won’t get regulatory approval in 2022, says Elon Musk
Tesla boss Elon Musk has confirmed that the company’s advanced driver assistance software will not satisfy regulatory authorities, at least for this year.
According to Reuters, Musk during a profit slump on Wednesday said the company’s ‘Full Self-Driving’ (FSD) will not get regulatory approval in 2022.
Musk has been hyping autonomous self-driving technology for years, but the reality hasn’t matched the hype. In July this year, Andrej Karpathy, who led the development of Tesla’s Autopilot driving assistance system, left the electric vehicle maker.
Elon Musk’s comments on Wednesday indicate that Tesla still can’t convince authorities that its cars can be driven without someone behind the wheel.
Of course, Tesla sells the $15,000 “Full Self-Driving” (FSD) software add-on, which allows its vehicles to change lanes and park autonomously. This is a step beyond its standard “autopilot” function, which steers, accelerates and brakes cars within their lanes without driver input.
However, both systems still need to be driven with human supervision and a fully autonomous vehicle would require regulatory approval.
And this seems a long way off considering the numerous examples of people abusing and misusing the self-driving technology found in Tesla electric vehicles.
According to Reuters, Musk said on the post-earnings call that all FSD users in North America will get an updated version by the end of the year.
Musk reportedly added that while his cars aren’t ready to have anyone behind the wheel, drivers will rarely have to touch the controls.
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“The car will be able to get you from your house to your job, to your friend’s house, to the grocery store without you touching the wheel,” he said.
“It is a separate matter whether it will have regulatory approval. It will not have regulatory approval at that time,” he added.
Musk also said that Tesla hopes to provide an FSD update in 2023 to show regulators that the car is much safer than the average human.
“Musk is opening up the possibility that Tesla will have a harder path to FSD approval given the increased scrutiny from NHTSA and others,” Roth Capital analyst Craig Irwin was quoted as saying by Reuters.
It’s no secret that Tesla faces challenges with both its ‘Autopilot’ system and its experimental self-driving package known as the ‘Full Self-Driving’ beta system.
In June of this year, the US federal vehicle safety regulator (NHTSA) said it was updating its investigation of Tesla’s Autopilot driving assistance system, the step taken before the agency determined a recall. .
Tesla vehicles have accounted for nearly 70 percent of reported crashes involving advanced driver assistance systems since June 2021, according to recent federal figures, but officials warned against drawing safety conclusions.
NHTSA opened 38 special investigations into accidents involving Tesla vehicles that resulted in 19 deaths, looking at whether software was a factor.
Musk has aggressively promoted Tesla’s Autopilot and FSD for years.
In late 2016, Musk reportedly promised Tesla fans a self-driving car that’s capable of driving from Los Angeles to New York without “the need for a single touch” by the end of 2017.
Then in 2019, Musk raised billions of dollars for Tesla by promising investors that the company would have 1 million “robotaxi-ready” cars on the road by the end of 2020.
In July 2020, Elon Musk said that Tesla was “very close” to achieving level 5 self-driving technology.
Level 5 is the holy grail of autonomous driving technology as level 5 vehicles will require no human intervention and the need for human drivers is eliminated.
In fact, it’s said that Tier 5 cars won’t even need to have steering wheels or throttle/brake pedals.
These cars will be free of geofences and will be able to drive anywhere and do anything that a normal car with a human driver can do.
Tesla cars currently operate on a level two, which requires the driver to remain alert and ready to act, hands on the wheel.
Tesla hasn’t helped with the naming of its self-driving systems.
Last month, the California state transportation regulator charged Tesla with false advertising, saying the features don’t provide full control of the self-driving car.
In July, a court in Germany ordered Tesla to reimburse a customer for problems with the autopilot system. The court upheld the woman’s claim that the autopilot in her car was faulty after a technical report showed the vehicle did not reliably recognize obstacles and sometimes applied the brakes unnecessarily.