Tesla CEO Elon Musk believes that his all-electric automaker will have the ability to release a fully autonomous functionality in “some jurisdictions” next year. It would be a huge development for not only Tesla, but the future of autonomous driving as a whole.
Musk was accepting the Axel Springer Award in Germany yesterday, where he held a Q&A session with CEO Mathias Döpfner that covered a wide variety of different topics from automotive to space exploration.
During the chat, which was recorded and uploaded to YouTube, Musk was asked about Tesla’s potential to develop a fully autonomous vehicle for customers. Musk’s answer revealed that he believes Tesla can do it next year, and that the customer base could see it in their cars in 2021.
Musk’s exact answer was:
“I am extremely confident of achieving full autonomy and releasing it to the Tesla customer base next year. But I think at least some jurisdictions are going to allow full self-driving next year.”
As of now, Tesla’s current FSD and Autopilot functionalities are not allowed everywhere in the world. One of the most widely recognized areas where the self-driving characteristic hasn’t gained full regulatory approval is Europe. The European Union has halted many FSD suite features from being released to drivers. More than 50 countries, including Japan, South Korea, and EU member states, agreed to common regulations that can take over some driving functions in June. However, complete self-driving functionalities are still not permitted, TechXplore reported.
Musk has even said himself that Tesla would slowly roll out FSD and Autopilot features in foreign markets, and that they would not be available until it had figured out a way to standardize traffic laws with FSD’s software. Musk once explained that it was important for Tesla to get the software absolutely right before rolling it out, most likely because any major malfunction or error in FSD’s ability to maneuver traffic could set back the company several years in terms of developing the technology.
But, this isn’t stopping some places in the United States from making great strides in terms of autonomous driving regulations. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 29 U.S. states have already enacted legislation that would allow autonomous vehicles to perform duties related to self-driving. Governors in 11 states have issued executive orders related to autonomous vehicles.
The 29 states are Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin —and Washington D.C, the NCSL says.
Tesla is certainly not the only company to consider self-driving technology as apart of its future developments. General Motors has its own version, called Super Cruise, which has gained traction for enhancing driver safety.
Make no mistake, Musk has no intentions of people never driving cars after FSD is perfected. During the presentation, he made it clear that commuting to work and operating in frustrating conditions, such as gridlocked traffic, would likely be the most advantageous times to use a self-driving car.