Tesla Says Full Self-Driving May Not Launch By End of 2021

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Tesla told California regulators that the company may not achieve Full Self-Driving (FSD) by the end of this year, according to a memo from the California DMV, seen by Reuters.

The news comes after Tesla CEO Elon Musk told shareholders in an earnings call that he and Tesla are “highly confident the car will be able to drive itself with reliability in excess of human this year,” later confirming that full FSD subscriptions would launch in Q2 this year.

While Tesla’s FSD is still in a limited beta format, it’s also still only accessing Level 2 autonomy, which requires the driver to be completely engaged, but still has elements of automation at play like acceleration and steering.

Thus far, Honda has launched the only Level 3 autonomous vehicle, though it still has significantly less road data and experience than Tesla’s FSD has garnered over the past several months.

In a memo following its March 9 conference call, the California DMV said, “Tesla indicated that Elon is extrapolating on the rates of improvement when speaking about L5 capabilities. Tesla couldn’t say if the rate of improvement would make it to L5 by end of calendar year.”

The memo continued, saying, “Tesla indicated that they are still firmly in L2. As Tesla is aware, the public’s misunderstanding about the limits of the technology and its misuse can have tragic consequences.”

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