Elon Musk Says Tesla Could Have Full Autonomy by the End of 2020

Posted by: Jesse Kleib on 11/16/2021

To most of us, the whole self-driving car thing is rather new.

We would probably wager that a good portion of the population doesn’t know that there are self-driving cars at all. Even those who do might not realize that these “self-driving” cars can’t legally be entirely autonomous. In other words, humans need to supervise this self-driving activity for it to be legal.

While the autonomous features have shown that they can promote traffic safety, they still aren’t perfect. Whenever there is an issue with a Tesla crashing, it is well-publicized. While these issues aren’t quite as frequent as they seem to be because of the constant reporting, they still exist in some capacity. Because of this, legislation has deemed fully autonomous vehicles illegal in pretty much most of the established world.

So, when can we expect this tech to come around full circle?

In a pre-recorded video played at the World AI Conference in Shanghai, Musk spoke to the timing on when we can expect cars to become fully self-driving.

Musk says, “I think at Tesla, we are very close to level five autonomy,” he continues, “I think I remain confident we will have the basic functionality for level five autonomy complete this year.” He also relays that he thinks “There are no fundamental challenges remaining for level five autonomy.”

On the contrary, he does admit that there are “Many small problems.”

It seems like he’s more worried about the “Longtail” of the problems, meaning that it shouldn’t be too hard to implement but odd issues could pop up down the road at some point.

In other words, it seems like technology is basically there. We would be left to infer that the framework is ready to roll but it’s going to take lots of real-world data to fully iron out the system to the point where it’s safe enough for full autonomy to be deemed entirely legal.