Marc UrbanoCar and Driver
- Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) feature in its Autopilot system was released as a closed beta this week, and CEO Elon Musk said today he is hopeful there will be a wide release by the end of the year.
- Tesla recently rewrote most of the software for its FSD feature.
- Tesla has been promising self-driving vehicles for years.
Today during a third-quarter financial call, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that the closed self-driving software beta it launched last night would expand to more drivers by early next week. The company would then step it up and the CEO said, "We have, hopefully, a wide release by the end of this year."
Musk noted that getting FSD to work correctly is incredibly hard work, "because the world is a complex messy place." He compared autonomy to Google's search engine and how that system is improved by people using it. The more cars using the Autopilot software, the better it gets, "having on the order of a million cars that are providing feedback, and specifically feedback on strange corner-case situations that you just can't even come up within simulation," Musk said.
According to Musk, once fully operational the FSD feature in Autopilot will be able to navigate in areas with cell reception, stored maps, or even on roads that have never been driven by a Tesla. Tesla's Autopilot system uses data from its cars driving on a road to help it determine how to set the driver-assistance system to drive on said road.
While Musk has previously said that FSD would be a subscription by the end of this year, there was no additional word about that during the call. When asked if a person could transfer their FSD purchase from one Tesla before it's sold to a new Tesla that person purchases, Musk said "We'll give it some thought."
On the call, Musk also said that the company's Berlin and Austin factories will be producing vehicles in 2021.
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