A few hours ago, emails exchanged between Tesla, and the California traffic authority were leaked, indicating that the American manufacturer’s long-promised autonomous driving capability still has a long way to become a reality promised by Elon Musk.
These documents that Tesla attorneys have submitted to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) indicate that vehicles using the latest beta version of the Full Self Driving system and featuring the “Automatic Driving on Urban Roads” feature will not exceed the level 2 autonomy.
This means that even if this update is released beyond the current limited testing program, the driver will need to continue to pay attention at all times, keeping their hands on the wheel and ready to take control. Something that collides with Elon Musk’s promise that indicated that we would have full autonomous driving in 2021. The emails put on the table that, without a drastic leap forward, this will not happen yet.
This is endorsed by the emails themselves where the representatives of Tesla indicate to the traffic authority that the beta update of FSD ‘does not make it autonomous according to the definition of the California Department of Vehicles’, in addition to stating that Level 2′ will remain practically no change when full rollout to clients”.
As we can read in the letter, Eric Williams, associate general counsel of Tesla, has said that Automatic Driving on urban roads (a definition that we can see in the Spanish version of the Tesla website) will continue at SAE level 2 which will not become autonomous.
According to Mr. Williams, “The capabilities of the system regarding the Object and Event Detection and Response (OEDR) subtask are limited, as there are circumstances and events to which the system is not able to recognize or respond. The FSD beta system cannot recognize or react to several obstacles, including static objects and road debris, emergency vehicles, construction zones, large uncontrolled intersections with multiple entryways, adverse weather, complicated vehicles or driving on highways without mapping.”
The Tesla representative also indicated that this will not change in the short term, adding that “we expect the functionality to remain practically unchanged in a future full launch for the customer fleet.”