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Don’t expect actual self-driving cars from Tesla this year

There’s always next year.

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Image: Tesla

After Elon Musk stated in a January earnings call that he was highly confident that a Tesla vehicle would “be able to drive itself with reliability in excess of human this year,” there’s a good possibility that won’t actually come to fruition.

The information comes from Reuters, who obtained a memo from Tesla to the California Depart of Motor Vehicles regarding its Full Self-Driving (FSD) technology. That memo was revealed by the legal transparency group PlainSite, which made a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain a copy of it.

Essentially, the memo notes that Tesla is currently at Level two autonomy. There are six levels of autonomy when it comes to self-driving vehicles. Level zero is literally no assistance, with level five being fully self-driving with no human intervention required. Level two still requires human supervision and is considered semi-autonomous.

The memo states: “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.”

It’s honestly not very surprising that Tesla is unlikely to hit level five this year. While Tesla and Elon Musk are quick to tout the self-driving technology, FSD has been criticized for even being called that. Regulators have noted that uninformed drivers may be led to believe that FSD in its current form is more capable than it actually is.

While the technology Tesla is pumping out is surely impressive, it seems we are still a ways off from actual self-driving cars.

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