When Elon Musk wrote his Master Plan Part Deux, he mentioned that it would likely take about 6 billion autonomous miles before a self-driving system gets worldwide regulatory approval. A lot has happened since — from Tesla transitioning to a vision-only approach to the FSD Beta program being rolled out — but Musk’s 6 billion FSD miles estimate seems to have stayed the same.
Musk recently reiterated his 6 billion FSD miles estimate on Twitter amid conversations with Tesla owners about the company’s Full Self-Driving Beta program. Musk had announced that FSD Beta 10.69.2 is now rolling out, though he also noted that users should expect the system to be overly-cautious.
In later comments, Musk quipped that real-world validation and billions of miles of real-world training are what will make FSD superhuman. This comment incited further questions, one of which was from @Tesla__Mania, who asked the CEO if his 6 billion FSD miles estimate from Master Plan, Part Deux, still stands. Musk noted that such a number is “probably the right order of magnitude.”
Musk is known for overly-ambitious targets that critics first find impossible, then later criticize for being late. The rollout of a full self-driving system is one of these, though the progress of the FSD Beta fleet since the program was launched in October 2020 has been undeniable. And with 100,000 beta testers using the system on real-world roads, FSD Beta is piling on the miles at a pretty rapid pace.
As per Tesla’s Q2 2022 Update Letter in July, the company’s FSD Beta fleet has effectively driven over 35 million miles, the majority of which was attained since October 2021. And with Tesla potentially opening access to the FSD program to all paying customers in the United States by the end of the year, the total number of autonomous miles driven by the company’s fleet would likely grow even more aggressively.
When Tesla announced that FSD Beta testers had already accumulated over 35 million miles, the program was already at a point where it had exceeded the cumulative miles of leaders in the autonomous driving field. Google’s Waymo, the company widely considered the leader in autonomous driving, for one, noted back in 2021 that its fleet had traveled 20 million real-world miles since 2009.
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