Tesla continues to release the newest and most exciting features in automotive technology on what seems like a daily basis. Recently, CEO Elon Musk has dropped several exciting developments dealing with manufacturing, battery technology, or Self-Driving functionality, all pointing toward the beginning of the end of the internal combustion engine industry. With every strategically-timed feature that Tesla releases, the ICE industry suffers another hit, making the numerous manufacturers that have been around for nearly a century rethink their strategies for the future as consumers look for new technology in cars. Tesla has established itself as the leader in moving the automotive industry forward.
Just last week, Musk stated on Twitter that Tesla would be releasing a “zero-intervention” version of the FSD suite, allowing owners to have their cars drive to destinations with no real responsibilities being left on the driver.
Musk confirmed the exact date of release earlier this morning, saying that the feature will be subject to a “limited FSD beta” on October 20th. The release date is “as promised,” as last week, the CEO indicated that it would be released “in a few weeks.”
Tesla has been fairly accurate with its timeframes in terms of releasing new technology to owners. However, there have been a few times in the past where the company has released something a few days, weeks, or months past the announced date. Usually, delays come down to whether the feature or functionality is ready for public use. When it comes to self-driving or semi-autonomous driving features, mistakes must be minimal. Tesla has to be sure that all bases are covered before releasing even a new characteristic’s limited-version.
Without performing the proper due-diligence, Tesla could be set back for months or even years. The company must continue to use its strive for perfection to its advantage. But now, Tesla is becoming more accurate with its timeframes, which spells significant amounts of trouble for other carmakers.
When the Full Self-Driving suite was aimed at a “feature complete” release toward the end of last year, many enthusiasts knew it would be tough for Tesla to complete this task. After the goal was not met, Musk indicated that Tesla would continue to work on the FSD suite and would release new features intermittently. Tesla did just this.
One of the most relevant examples of this is the Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control feature that became available in April 2020. When initially released, it required users to confirm that an intersection was safe for navigation by confirming it through the driving stalk. In June, Tesla removed the need for driver confirmation, allowing cars to navigate through intersections without driver intervention.
Tesla has kept its word with releasing features. However, what has been missing is an accurate timeframe, which has kept owners guessing about which features will be available at what times. But, Tesla is improving with this and is becoming more deliberate with keeping up with goals.
With more predictable release dates, Tesla becomes significantly more dangerous to legacy and ICE automotive companies. Knowing exactly when features will be ready and when the public will have the opportunity to experience them is effectively Tesla digging the six-foot deep hole where ICE car companies will lie within a few years. It means Tesla is developing functionalities in a timely fashion with accuracy and confidence.
Even though the feature is not a wide-release, FSD features rarely are. They often start with Tesla employees, and then roll out to members of the company’s “Early Access Program.” After the bugs and kinks, if there are any, are modified, then the wide-release begins.
As Tesla continues to raise the bar in semi-autonomous driving, electric vehicle technology, and EV battery functionality, it is evident that soon, there will be no more advantages to driving a car that is powered by gas. While fun for some, driving is a chore for others, and FSD will give those who are forced to travel the opportunity to have cars drive themselves.
The big picture of Tesla is narrowing down specific release dates for features is that their approach is becoming more calculated, defined, and precise. All of which are a disaster for traditional car companies who are still lagging in EV development and Advanced Driver Assistance features. Tesla is pulling away, not only literally, but metaphorically, as well.