The feature complete version of Full Self Driving will be available “soon”, according to a response made by Tesla CEO and co-founder Elon Musk on early Monday morning (Australian time).
Full Self Driving promises to allow Tesla vehicle owners to essentially be driven on streets, roads and highways, and in car parks, without the need for driver supervision or intervention, and will be an essential part of Musk’s plan to use Tesla vehicles to form a fleet of “robo-taxis”.
So far, Smart Summon (slow speed navigation of car parks), Autopilot and Navigate on Autopilot (high speed navigation of highways) have been released. (For a handy breakdown on what each is and means for drivers see Alex Shoolman’s article here).
The missing piece in the puzzle is the ability for Tesla vehicles to handle medium speed navigation of traffic lights, roundabouts and other common obstacles.
Once made live, it will mean that, along with other components mentioned above, Full Self Driving (FSD) will be “feature complete”. Regulatory hurdles may remain.
At Tesla’s Q3 2019 earnings call, Musk said that this milsetone would likely be reached by the end of 2019, and in response to a Twitter query about the new deadline, Musk responded: “Soon”.”
Not exactly precise, but possible reassuring for those who have invested up to $US7,000 ($A8,500 in Australia) for the hardware that will be needed for vehicles that are FSD-capable.
— Buff Mage (@elonmusk) January 11, 2020
In terms of being “robo-taxi-ready” – that is, able to function with the need for supervision or intervention – Musk has previously said this should be functional by the end of 2020, but its implementation will be dependent on the approval of regulators.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.