For some time, Tesla’s claimed that its Autopilot is capable of “Full Self-Driving”. Although, it actually isn’t, as there’s no car on the road that’s capable of full, Level 5 autonomous driving. In fact, in most countries, Level 3 isn’t even legally allowed, America being one of them (for now, it looks like Level 3 is coming soon). So it’s been quite confusing for Tesla to put that “Full Self-Driving” label on its optional upgrade for Autopilot. It seems that Tesla finally agrees, as it’s pulled the option from its website.
In Tesla’s defense, the option was for a hardware upgrade that would allow for full autonomy in the future, when both the software and government regulations allow it. So the option was sort of future-proofing your car, which would then only need an over-the-air update to give it complete autonomy. That was the idea anyway. Though, it always seemed a bit silly to spend $3,000 on an option that actually doesn’t get you anything until you’re car is old enough for replacement anyway.
Now, though, the option is gone. According to Elon Musk, Tesla’s always-polarizing CEO, the option will be still be available for a few more days off menu but it’s gone after that, as it “was causing too much confusion.” At least Tesla recognized that the whole “Full Self-Driving” misnomer was incredibly misleading.
However, Musk also claims that a new chip for FSD (Full Self-Driving) is on its way soon. Many fans believe that this new chip is the real reason for Tesla pulling the FSD option, as it will be getting new hardware so it should ditch the FSD option until said hardware is installed.
This just goes to show how tricky the self-driving endeavor is. Even a brand like Tesla, who was early to adopt the technology and one of the first to really implement it into production cars, must change up its strategy. At the moment, the automotive brand with the most advanced self-driving tech is Audi, with its true Level 3 autonomy in the new A8, while everyone else has just Level 2.
It will be interesting to see where it goes from here. Is it about to release something superior to its own FSD capability and that’s why it’s dropping the option, to make way for something better?
Currently, Autopilot is more advanced than anything from BMW, so this could give BMW a chance to catch up to its Silicon Valley-based rival. Or maybe Tesla drops a bombshell soon and leaves everyone else behind.
[Source: Inside EVs]