Tesla: “Full self-driving beta” isn’t designed for full self-driving

Two cars nearly collide in a parking lot.

Enlarge / YouTuber Brandon M captured this drone footage of his Tesla steering toward a parked car using the FSD beta software. “Oh Jeeeesus,” he said as he grabbed the steering wheel. (credit: Brandon M)

The transparency site Plainsite recently published a pair of letters Tesla wrote to the California Department of Motor Vehicles in late 2020. The letters cast doubt on Elon Musk’s optimistic timeline for the development of fully driverless technology.

For years, Elon Musk has been predicting that fully driverless technology is right around the corner. At an April 2019 event, Musk predicted that Teslas would be capable of fully driverless operation—known in industry jargon as “level 5″—by the end of 2020.

“There’s three steps to self-driving,” Musk told Tesla investors at the event. “There’s being feature complete. Then there’s being feature complete to the degree where we think the person in the car does not need to pay attention. And then there’s being at a reliability level where we also convince regulators that that is true.”

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