Full autonomous driving

Full autonomous driving

I have a question concerning autopilot on the Model 3. It has been my understanding that one software development is completed, perhaps in 3 to 5 years, and after regulatory approval has been granted, that the Model 3 will be capable of full self driving autonomous operation. Is that correct?

Shock | 26. September 2017

Yes, correct--in theory. We don't know 100% because it's never happened, but Tesla believes the hardware they are building into all current Teslas is sufficient for full "go to sleep and wake up at destination" self driving.

All the teslas will require a software unlock costing several thousand, either now or later on if you decide you want the feature.

As for timeline nobody has a clue. It could be two years, it could be 10. It could be 2 for FSD on highways, and 10 for FSD in construction zones in snow storms, etc. Nobody really knows :)

hoffmannjames | 26. September 2017

We don't have a timeline, so the 3-5 years you mention is a guess. But essentially, that is Tesla's goal. That is why they put the cameras, radar and ultrasonics in all their cars and are working on full self-driving software to match. Tesla believes that with the right software and once they get regulatory approval, that all Tesla cars, including the Model 3 will be capable of full self-driving. However, it has been a hotly debated topic on this forum whether or not Tesla will be able to acheive that goal. Some believe that Tesla will need to upgrade the hardware in order to achieve true self-driving.

hoffmannjames | 26. September 2017

I just attended a lecture on full self-driving cars. The professor said that the technology for FSD is much closer than people think. He showed Tesla's FSD video as proof and said that he talked to one of his former students who now works at Tesla who confirmed to him that the video is real and that the video is "pretty close" to what Tesla's FSD is capable of.

Mike83 | 26. September 2017

I have no doubt it will happen sooner than many believe.

KP in NPT | 26. September 2017

Elon says they're going to demo a FSD car cross country "soon" - originally they said by the end of the year but I don't think anyone is expecting that to actually happen. But I agree it's probably closer than many people think.

But yes, the cars are equipped with the hardware that will supposedly be capable for FSD, whenever it is approved by the government.

ReD eXiLe ms us | 26. September 2017

Not only will Tesla achieve the goal of Full Self Driving, but so will others, and far sooner than many believe.

"There are two wolves. They are always fighting. One represents fear, uncertainty, and doubt. The other stands for belief, education, and awareness. Which one wins?

"The one you feed."

ShesNoCissy | 26. September 2017

I believe in science and that we will have FSD soon but what leaves me uncertain is how quickly Federal, State and Local government can approve the changes in the law to allow this new method of driving.

ReD eXiLe ms us | 27. September 2017

The NHTSA is on the verge of being able to entirely overrule any State or Local provisions that would limit or disallow Full Self Driving efforts. They have made it their mission to be proactive in this regard, to clear the way for autonomous vehicles, rather than playing 'catch up' in a reactive fashion.

"Every year, more than 30,000 Americans die in motor vehicle-related crashes. Vehicle automation, in its initial stages, is already saving lives and preventing injuries. NHTSA is committed to advancing this technology due to its potential to eliminate motor vehicle-related deaths on America’s roads and to deliver additional benefits to society." -- Automated Vehicles for Safety | NHTSA

"In January 2016, we announced the Proactive
Safety Principles, a historic agreement between
the U.S. Department of Transportation, NHTSA,
and 18 automakers on a set of broad-ranging
actions to help avoid the type of safety crisis that
led to record-setting safety recalls. This approach
is already yielding results and we’re excited about
its future potential.

"We also embrace the lifesaving potential of
automated vehicle technologies. Too often
we talk about a tension between safety and
innovation. A study we did showed that over
50 years, basic safety technologies such as seat
belts and air bags saved 613,501 lives. Yet those
technologies were also once controversial.

"On September 20, 2016, the U.S. DOT and
NHTSA announced the Federal Automated
Vehicles Policy, a proactive, four-part measure
designed to help facilitate the safe testing and
deployment of automated vehicles nationwide.
This approach is an unprecedented move
by the Federal Government to harness the
enormous safety and mobility potential of
these technologies, maintaining oversight and
authority, while allowing innovators to develop
bold new safety and mobility solutions." -- The Road Ahead | NHTSA

kzodz | 27. September 2017

The Model 3 will probably eventually be capable of FSD. Maybe. In any case, people are focused on the software development more than the required regulatory approval. Tesla can rightfully say one day that they made the car FSD but never received regulatory approval for it. I can't see the government allowing all of these cars running around 'unsupervised'. At the very least full FSD approval will probably require car 2 car communications so that your car knows what every other car is intending to do in its vicinity.
Wonder how long it will take for people to complain that I'm FUD? Ithink I'm realistic. In any case, I am a day one pre-reveal depositor, and fully intend to get a loaded up model 3 when they arrive in Canada. I will order EAP. I'm just not optimistioc that the car is there yet. Just read that Intel is taking over their 'entertainment' systems from Nvidia, maybe that gives us hope that Mobileye can get back involved.

Madatgascar | 27. September 2017

The push-back won't come from the NHTSA so much as from the chilling effect of product liability lawsuits. It won't matter that accident rates are reduced, what matters is that deep pockets can now be held responsible for the few accidents that do happen under FSD. That and the associated bad press will make automakers lawyer up and shift responsibility back to drivers. We will wind up getting poked and prodded and retina scanned to make sure we are properly monitoring the systems even after they become ridiculously reliable.

bmz | 27. September 2017

Regardless whether any federal legislation is enacted, I don't know of any states that prohibit the sale of cars with self driving hardware and software. If any exist, they cannot be more than just a very few. I have never understood this "regulatory approval" FUD.

bmz | 27. September 2017

Madatgascar +1

dsvick | 27. September 2017

Associated bad press won't last long once the accident rate begins to drop.
Lawsuits won't be too much of an issue either, maybe initially but when FSD becomes a reality and the accident rates drop precipitously insurance companies will line up to insure your FSD car. And will gladly pay the claims because the rate will probably be about half of what they were. There will also be the added ability to check all the recorded data from that car(s) involved to determine exactly what happened in order to assign responsibility and, more importantly, to make sure it doesn't happen again.

KP in NPT | 27. September 2017

The NHTSA just released rules for testing that actually should speed things up - by making it harder for states to throw road blocks (no pun)

Carl Thompson | 27. September 2017

" I can't see the government allowing all of these cars running around 'unsupervised'. At the very least full FSD approval will probably require car 2 car communications so that your car knows what every other car is intending to do in its vicinity."

Governments, from the Federal to the states to local are already on board and have fast-tracked legislation to help make FSD a reality. They love the idea because FSD allows them to get more efficiency and safety out of roads without actually having to spend money. They'll be able to claim that they've improved things while spending your money on more porcine things.

"Wonder how long it will take for people to complain that I'm FUD?"

Heh, yeah people here are good at that if you don't say something on their "approved" list. Just ignore those people that have taken it upon themselves to wear the mantle of the Tesla police.

Yodrak. | 27. September 2017

Some people seem to underestimate the ingenuity of trail lawyers, especially in states that do not have no-fault auto insurance. The rate of traffic accidents (which are rarely true accidents) may decline but the attraction of going after the 'deep pockets' is irresistible.

Further, it's going to be a long time before all cars on the road have FSD and all drivers are using it all of the time. Until then a car operating under FSD may have a hard time avoiding a careless or reckless driver who's actions make a collision unavoidable.

ReD eXiLe ms us | 27. September 2017

bmz: There have been articles written recently that specified how the laws in particular States may bar autonomous vehicles. Typically, there are specific provisions relating to how a person must be in the driver position at all times. You know how some daredevil or drunken people like to show off with 'Here, Hold My Beer' antics... Driving from the back seat with a collection of ropes and pulleys maybe... Or inverting themselves to operate pedals with their hands and the steering wheel with their feet... Maybe even standing up in a convertible facing the rear of the car and driving the car in reverse with the back of their thighs... Some laws are specific to preventing human beings from doing stupid stuff, but could be directed as a means to prevent autonomous vehicles from taking the road too because of some provision of a statute that claims the 'operator' must be visible to patrol officers or whatever. Laws do not have to make something illegal if it can be proven that required points of law were not observed.

locnguyencalalum | 27. September 2017

In my most optimistic hope,
FSD technology is within 5 years.
Passing FSD law state wise law is 5 to 7 years (Depends on state. Thank god I live in California)
Passing FSD law nationally will be 10+ years.

ReD eXiLe ms us | 27. September 2017

As of about three weeks ago...

Autonomous vehicle legislation passes easily in U.S. House

US House sends self-driving car bill to the Senate

Carl Thompson | 27. September 2017


Good point about trial lawyers going after deep pockets.

I also suspect that there will be human drivers that specifically target the perceived weaknesses of self-driving cars who purposely attempt to cause accidents with them.

dsvick | 27. September 2017

"the attraction of going after the 'deep pockets' is irresistible"
"I also suspect that there will be human drivers that specifically target the perceived weaknesses of self-driving cars who purposely attempt to cause accidents with them."

You're both correct, but I do not see it lasting very long. As soon as the lawyers and the professional victims begin to lose the majority of their cases because the FSD car has a record of everything that occurred and what the car did to try to avoid the accident, the number of cases should fall off pretty rapidly. | 27. September 2017

Another factor could be if the auto companies offer the insurance as well. If the FSD car crashes, they cover it, even if it isn't the FSD fault. Seems like a logical combination, although perhaps the insurance companies might lobby to make this illegal and protect their business.

Lots of strong opinions as to when FSD will be available - and there is no easy way to tell who may be right until it is available and working well. And of course there will be some limitations. It could be some areas, some roads, or some situations where FSD will not handle, either at first or perhaps some situations will never be handled. For example, deliberate intent by someone to cause an accident (which happens today on rare occasion without FSD).

KP in NPT | 27. September 2017

@TT I believe that self-insurance idea was mentioned in Seba's TaaS disruption report.

ReD eXiLe ms us | 27. September 2017

Elon Musk has also threatened to open his own insurance company if incumbents either refuse to cover autonomous vehicles or charge exorbitant rates to insure them.

I think that like professional car thieves, those who are professional victims will realize the futility of hunting Tesla vehicles. Especially once they begin to find themselves behind bars.

locnguyencalalum | 27. September 2017

Man if Elon opens an insurance company for little or no profit, he would kill the auto insurance companies. They made so much money out of people for the services that they try so hard not to provide. He would change US business landscape... Elon should run for president lol he would have my vote in a heart beat

topher | 28. September 2017

"Elon should run for president lol he would have my vote in a heart beat"

Get to work on that Constitutional Amendment then.

Thank you kindly.

PhillyGal | 28. September 2017

I have all the faith in the world that Tesla - and others - will make the hardware and software necessary for FSD a reality. I have less faith that the regulatory world will catch up but even if it does, I'm still at a loss for how it will actually work. I regularly encounter situations where I have no clue how FSD would work.

City traffic, intersection, cars in one direction "block the box." You, in the other direction, know you just have to inch into the intersection on green and wait, possibly until it turns red, to continue or else you'll never go. Would the car do that or would it wait X amount of light cycles until rush hour ends and the traffic lets up? Could you blame the cars behind it for taking a baseball bat to the self driving car after it didn't move for the third green light?

bmalloy0 | 28. September 2017

I don't see proper legislation occuring until at least two companies have proven tech. I would blindly guess that two separate conpanies will have the tech within two years, then another 2-3 for proper legislation and regulatory approval.

And a whole lot of lawsuits in between, from all sides.

RedPillSucks | 28. September 2017

I'm sure Elon will be able to side step the birther controversy,
unlike the poor sods in Australian politics.