Tesla comments on FSD development difficulties, regulatory framework

(Credit: Gail Alfar)

Tesla has recently weighed in on the development of Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) and the U.S. regulatory framework, following the company’s rollout of FSD (Supervised) and its announcement of plans to unveil a long-awaited robotaxi later this year.

FSD v12 has been rolling out over the past several months, and with Tesla officially replacing the “beta” moniker with “supervised” and announcing plans to unveil the robotaxi later this year, higher levels of vehicle autonomy have been at the forefront of shareholder and public conversations.

Although some have assumed that the regulatory framework for FSD and other semi-autonomous driving systems would be the most difficult part of bringing FSD and a robotaxi to the market, two Tesla executives have since shared their thoughts, noting the sheer difficulty of developing such a software.

Tesla’s Elon Musk reiterates FSD licensing offer for other automakers

On Friday evening, CEO Elon Musk shared his thoughts on the matter in response to a thread on X posted last August, which included thoughts on Tesla’s place in the future market of autonomous driving.

In his response, Musk wrote that it has been “staggeringly difficult to make generalized self-driving work,” adding that Tesla’s investments into training compute, data pipelines and video storage will cost more than $10 billion cumulatively this year. Still, Musk says that this figure pales in comparison to the amount of money Tesla will be able to generate using the software:

Along with Musk’s thoughts late Friday, fellow Tesla executive Rohan Patel, Vice President of Policy and Business Development, shared his thoughts on how difficult developing FSD has been on Saturday morning. Patel responded to a post from Omar of Whole Mars Blog, in which Tesla followers and FSD enthusiasts pointed out that developing the system was much more difficult than the regulatory side of things.

Patel says that, while the regulatory frameworks and fundamental mindset surrounding general autonomy both need to change, his team’s technology advancements will be what pushes these frameworks forward.

Tesla’s FSD v12 has long been discussed as a key piece of the puzzle for unlocking higher levels of autonomy in the future. Last week, the FSD system surpassed one billion miles driven by all of its users, and the system is expected to continue improving as human drivers use it more and more.

The past few weeks have indicated significant confidence in FSD (Supervised), from Tesla offering one-month free trials and mandatory test drives with the system, to the company’s plans to detail the highly anticipated robotaxi later this year. They also highlight Tesla’s recent focus on having executives interact directly with fans, shareholders and others on social media, and in other media appearances.

Updated 4/7/24: Fifth paragraph edited for accuracy.

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Tesla comments on FSD development difficulties, regulatory framework
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