During a conference this week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk reiterated claims that the Full Self-Driving (FSD) beta is nearing higher levels of autonomy. The statements echo recent details learned from previews of a new Musk biography, highlighting the FSD system’s many developments in the last several months alone.
Musk was featured in an interview during the All-In Podcast’s 2023 Summit held on Wednesday, during which he discussed topics like Starlink, X, China, artificial intelligence, and more. Among the topics covered was a brief outro on the FSD beta, which he says is “very close” to becoming safer than a human driver without being monitored.
“Yeah, I think it’s getting very close to being in a situation where, even if there’s no human oversight or intervention, that the probability of a safe journey is higher with FSD and no supervision — like even if you’re asleep in the car — than if a person is driving. We’re very close to that,” Musk said on a video call into the summit.
He also pointed to how much the current version of FSD has improved compared to versions from six months ago, a year ago, and 18 months ago. In that time, Musk explained, Tesla has arrived at what it calls the “final piece of the puzzle,” as the company shifts toward making the whole FSD neural network-based.
“And we’ve got the final piece of the puzzle, which is to have the control part of the car transition from about 300,000 lines of C++ code to a [full-scale] neural network, so the whole system will be neural network, photons into controls out,” Musk added.
During the interview, Musk also referred to miles being driven with FSD as being “much safer” than those without it, emphasizing how close the automaker is to solving that “final piece of the puzzle.”
You can watch Musk’s full interview at the 2023 All-In Summit on X, with the FSD discussion taking place around 44:30.
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Tesla Safety Statistics
Tesla releases a regular vehicle safety report detailing quarterly crash results from its Autopilot and FSD systems.
The most recent entry occurred in the fourth quarter of last year, showing fewer crashes when Autopilot technology is engaged than when it isn’t. According to the report, the latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that there is an automobile crash in the U.S. every 652,000 miles.
Comparatively, Tesla recorded one crash for every 4.85 million miles driven in Q4 for drivers using its Autopilot systems. Tesla also recorded one crash for every 1.40 million miles driven by drivers in its cars who were not using either of the systems.
The concept of FSD switching to an entirely neural-network-based approach was also detailed earlier this week in previews of a Musk biography written by Walter Isaacson. The biography was published on Wednesday, and it specifically discusses Tesla’s upcoming FSD version 12.
In the past, Musk has said that FSD v12 will no longer be a beta version of the software and will include a significant leap forward.