Will Full Self Driving Ever Happen?

Will Full Self Driving Ever Happen?

I don’t think so... Reading about how Google maps and the Garmin GPS do not integrate well, the general distrust that Americans have for driverless technology, and the litigious attitude among Americans will keep the DOT from allowing driverless cars or full AP on the roads.

When I ordered my S I found it silly to pay any money for possible “future” full self-driving automation. Yes, we know that Tesla already has the capability of self-driving in our cars... but we also know of the handful of fatal accidents due to AP errors. When I engage the AP in my car for lane and vehicle following I don’t need the car to remind me to grab the wheel. I am alert and ready to take over at any moment. People who feel that they can trust their and their family’s lives on this current technology are not only foolish, they are endangering innocent lives.

The American public will not allow driverless trucks to barrel down their highways without years and years of testing and proof that nothing will ever go wrong. Yes, you can point to statistics about tired truck drivers falling asleep and causing accidents, but that is different from a ghost runaway truck causing horrible accidents.

Will in eventually happen? Probably... but not in the foreseeable future.

yanyan | 06/08/2018

Give it about 10 years

Hammonddave | 06/08/2018

Dr Yan... there is one more reason it may take longer than ten years. It would take the majority of cars on the road for Americans to accept self driving capability for this to occur. That may be more than 20 years for this to happen. Plus an enormous investment from the government to assure safety and reliability.

I am not holding my breath.

jordanrichard | 06/08/2018

I agree. When Tesla, but more specifically Elon spoke about FSD coming in the near future, I knew that wasn't going to happen. Let's set aside the technical aspect of it. What politician is going to sign a bill that would allow robot cars be on their streets with the possibility, no matter how slight, that it hits a kid. Yes, kids, pets, adults get hit by cars today, but what politician will go on TV and say that....? They would come across as not caring. If people fear something (anything new), they won't like their representatives to endorse what causes them concern/fear.

Look what happen, thanks to the media, when a Tesla catches fire or AP was claimed to be at fault...... Multiply that by 1,000 when a FSD hits a person. Again don't go by facts about the possibility of that happening. People don't go by facts they go by headlines/emotions.

jjgunn | 06/08/2018

Yes, It will happen this month! Elon said so :-)

jordanrichard | 06/08/2018

"Yes, It will happen this month! Elon said so :-)" Oh, well in that case........... :-) | 06/08/2018

I believe we will see FSD in less than 2 years and likely less than a year. The technology is already here (although too expensive). Google has been running FSD for a few years here, as I see Waymo cars almost every day running on the streets around here.

Ok, the political side could be an issue, but Tesla may be the only automaker that can run AP software in shadow mode on 100,000+ cars in real-world situations, and evaluate how many accidents would be prevented vs. accidents AP would not handle. If that is even 2:1, it will be very hard for regulators to block FSD. As that ratio goes up, it will be very hard for anyone to deny FSD.

Everyone's definition of FSD is a bit all over the place. There are going to be plenty of geofenced locations where FSD will not be enabled. Like GM's SuperCruise (only works on select freeways), FSD will be rolled out in "safe" areas first, and expanded over time to more and more areas as the technology is proven. So 10 years might be valid to handle any situation in any area of the world.

jerrykham | 06/08/2018

@HammondDave is correct. FSD is a long ways out. Very likely the tech in today's Tesla isn't up to it even with a software upgrade. But the real hurdles are the legislation / rule making and the insurance industries.

Silver2K | 06/08/2018

10 years at a minimum. What does the car do in snow, ice, earthquakes, hurricane and tornado conditions?

Too many variables

Bill_75D | 06/08/2018

Yes, of course. Just not in my lifetime. I wonder when I'll get a full refund for the FSD that I paid for in 2016?

tes-s | 06/08/2018

Yes. | 06/08/2018

@Silver2k - I expect FSD will do the same things humans do in extreme situations - sometimes stop, sometime crash. The Darwin principle may work for those who go out and drive (FSD or not) into crazy weather situations. It is also a fairly trivial software effort to make FSD smart enough to geofence arround weather extremes.

Do not assume FSD will be enabled for every situation. FSD would still be great if it handled 99.9% of daily driving.

Insurance is interesting for FSD. The best way to handle this is to bundle the insurance with the car. Tesla (or other FSD companies) could self-insure and/or sub out the insurance to others. Really not that difficult. If FSD works as it should, the insurance costs should be dramatically less.

Liability and legal can also be easily solved if the company producing FSD takes on that responsibility. I think Volvo already has stated it for their FSD (yet to appear). I'm not saying these are all easy to solve, but they are not all that difficult and not 10 years difficult. But that's my view :)

tes-s | 06/08/2018

"The American public will not allow driverless trucks to barrel down their highways"

To funny. With so many drunks, dopers, and blind people on the roads now, it would be a welcome improvement. | 06/08/2018

@tes-s +1 You forget all the drivers who are texting, writing emails, playing phone games, shaving or putting on makeup using a mirror. Even saw one gal shaving her leg while driving with one leg on the dashboard! I've seen too many crazy people, and the sooner we get the FSD for the masses the better The downside is It may take 20 years to get reasonable number of FSD cars on the road :(

jjgunn | 06/08/2018

FSD Semi's from Tesla would be great - Still have a human sitting there for intervention if necessary

ktslab | 06/08/2018

FSD relies on regulatory approval. I don't see that anywhere close to a bill in any of the states. I bought my Tesla without paying FSD for the very same reason and I still believe it is true.

TranzNDance | 06/08/2018

I find this interesting: "the general distrust that Americans have for driverless technology". I was taught to drive defensively, as if other human drivers were idiots and going to do something stupid at any moment.

Alan75DUK | 06/08/2018

Some years ago whilst I was stationary at a junction waiting for a gap in the traffic, a woman drove into the back of me. She apologised profusely and explained the she was putting her contacts in at the time!.. There are some people for whom FSD cannot come soon enough, and for whom it should be the only option - for the safety of the rest of us.

Alan75DUK | 06/08/2018

'that she', not 'the she'

carlk | 06/08/2018

I'm sure there will be a lot of resistance and people spreading FUD either with some kind of agenda or from pure ignorance. On the other hand we only need enough statistically meaningful data to come out to change people's perception. The gradual releasing of FSD features, which seems to be Tesla's strategy, is the best way to get those data. So to partly answer op's question it will not be all or nothing situation for Tesla.

SamO | 06/08/2018

There are already self driving cars in Las Vegas. So I guess we are talking widespread adoption?

I’m with TeslaTap that we will see them in 12-24 months in SF or LA. Pick another large city and you’ll be able to hail one.


Boonedocks | 06/08/2018

"What politician is going to sign a bill that would allow robot cars be on their streets"

I guess these politicians where I live.

PatientFool | 06/08/2018

This is a silly position to take. First, you have to define what FSD looks like before you say it's not going to happen in the foreseeable future. Second, it's not some kind of binary event where one day it starts happening en mass everywhere. It's going to happen in stages in select areas and via stages of features and technologies with different approaches. Oh wait, that's exactly what is already happening. To some folks living in the right areas, they can already hail a self driving car to take themselves somewhere. To them, i'd imagine, it's already quite real.

Silver2K | 06/08/2018

Even if fsd was available tomorrow, I doubt it would be quickly adopted to states as it would creat an insane unemployment situation.

The states would be on the hook to feed many people with a lot of money

dvanlier | 06/08/2018

There are so many companies working on it right now. Waymo has what, 5 million miles without death or serious injury? I know Uber had the one fatality but they may have been overdoing it a bit and the bike rider jumped into the middle of the car lane at night. So we may have already passed the point where it’s safer then human driving (at least for google). Tesla hasn’t really done any public testing and I’m hoping they start soon on top of their current ‘shadows FSD’ analysis or whatever it is they do.

I agree that it will come in stages and the initial FSD features will come with the currently existing ‘nags’, and so I won’t want to buy it. But eventually I’ll pay for it.

mvotb | 06/08/2018

Your right Dave. I also don't believe the hardware in a Tesla today could ever handle it. I posted a question about the liability issue a long time ago, no even tried to answer it. Real FSD, Not going to happen for many many years.

jordanrichard | 06/08/2018

Boonedocks, when we people are talking about FSD, they are talking about with no one behind the wheel. These laws are to allow testing of FSD cars, but must have a back up driver.

Silver2K | 06/08/2018

Waymo vehicles are in a Geo-fenced area only

dvanlier | 06/08/2018

They are geofences but I know the area is getting bigger all the time. And they are in 25 cities worldwide right now, but most aggressively in Phoenix .

carlk | 06/08/2018

When full self driving cars become available Tesla will be the only company that will sell you a car that you can operate anywhere in the country in self driving mode. Everyone else is working on geofenced system that can only operate on pre-mapped roads. They are only targeting for taxi or Uber/Lyft type services but not for you and I to use. The way they are developing them you will never be able to buy a driverless car and hope it to work everywhere like we do now with human driven car. Tesla would be the only exception although like I said earlier FSD features will be released in stages.

duke_of_alinor | 06/08/2018

"Will in eventually happen? Probably... but not in the foreseeable future."
But in the foreseeable past?
FSD will roll out one place at a time. Quite a few years back Chevron quietly started FSD at its Calif campus. More and more cities will allow FSD, then divided federal highways, and so forth, easiest ones first.

ktslab | 06/08/2018

but by then, I would probably on my 3rd or 4th Tesla. Not going to pay for the FSD based on optimism.

bdambrosio | 06/08/2018

@ktslab - let's reword this: what is the likelihood that Tesla will release, within the next year or two, some advances in automated driving that will only be available to those who've paid for FSD? I'd rate that extremely likely. (Likely enough that I paid for FSD for the MX I pick up in two weeks.) I don't need 'Full Self Driving', whatever that means, just an ever more capable co-pilot 'watching my back'

ktslab | 06/08/2018

I vote no sooner than the next 5 years. I'm buying my 2nd Tesla, an MX this year. I have decided to not pay for the FSD.

jjs | 06/08/2018

Follow the money. It will win. Most always does, sadly enough. When FSD saves money (fewer accidents, deaths, injury) insurance companies will back it. Safety organizations will back it. State and local governments will back it. It's coming. How fast? Almost as fast as the technology enables it.

I can image a similar argument back when the horseless carriage was in its infancy. Those contraptions won't be allowed on the road. Their dangerous. They hurt people. The move too fast and are out of control. They will never replace a good horse! Hi ho silver away!

Jim Chanos' grandfather probably shorted Ford, when he should have shorted horses.

tes-s | 06/08/2018

"I'm buying my 2nd Tesla, an MX this year. I have decided to not pay for the FSD."

I'm also buying an MX, and will get the FSD. Not for FSD, but for the interim enhancements that will be available during the life of the vehicle. The extra 3% cost is worth it to me.

Hammonddave | 06/08/2018

The difference between the days of the "horseless carriage" and now is that no one sued the owner of the horse when it ran over little johnny. Things will be different when multi-billion dollars companies are involved.

One other thing. What will happen when the citizens of New York City decide that traffic lights no longer have meaning? If autonomous cars stop for pedestrians, then what keeps pedestrians from jaywalking? Those cars will stop, won't they? And when they do... The city streets will be taken over by pedestrians. Traffic will be gridlocked... Chaos ensures!

You don't think that will happen? You don't know New Yorkers (me)!

neofelis | 06/08/2018

As more cars get FSD features, people will start demanding more consistent and clear lane markings which should make accidents decrease. Elon has these cameras seeing pretty darn well. Imagine how well the cars would drive if there were specific lane markings meant for cameras to see them? You could also place QR type codes in the pavement warning onboard computers of tight turns, etc. It really has boundless possibilities. Imagine a light signal across the highway that gives a code that tells of traffic conditions, weather, speed limits, amber alerts, etc.

Hammonddave | 06/08/2018

They don't have the money to fill the potholes in LA! Where is all this money coming from to repaint the lanes and bury sensors under the pavement?

carlk | 06/08/2018

jjs Lol on Chanos' grandfather shorted Ford. I agree with other things you said too. FSD will be coming sooner that people thought. The right question to ask is when human will not allowed to drive because it's too unsafe or insurance cost will be too high only few drivers could afford to. I think we have at most 20 years before that happens.

Silver2K | 07/08/2018

The only way people would not be allowed to drive is when they don't own their own vehicles any longer. And if that happens the manufacturers will have their own insurance to offer their consumers and private insurance companies will no longer exist. To be honest I'm surprised that hasn't happened yet.

tes-s | 07/08/2018

"The right question to ask is when human will not allowed to drive because it's too unsafe or insurance cost will be too high only few drivers could afford to."

When? Not until computers start voting and making laws instead of humans.

bp | 07/08/2018

FSD will happen. The only question is when and under what constraints.

Validation will be challenging, due to the huge number of "edge cases" where the software has to reasonably respond to unusual and unique situations - much more complicated than following the traffic laws, staying inside lanes and maintaining distance between adjacent vehicles.

Regulatory approval will happen, especially if there is a perceived commercial or safety benefit. Though when it comes down to getting politicians to vote on this, if they believe their votes could result in passing a law that could increase safety risks - it may take time to get enough support to get approval.

Liability is a big unknown. Manufacturers of the FSD systems will try to push liability to the vehicle owners & operators. Though since the FSD manufacturers are essentially providing the driver for the vehicles, it's difficult to see how they won't be responsible for at least some of the liability if the FSD fails to act properly and causes an accident.

Even if a manufacturer believes they've validated their software and believe it's ready - we aren't close on the regulatory approval process or resolving liability.

Despite the obvious challenges, we purchased FSD for our 2017 S and 2018 X, expecting that even if the software isn't approved for unmonitored driving, we'll be able to use Tesla's FSD implementation to make driving easier and hopefully safer - and that could start as soon as this year with Version 9.0, in certain circumstances (limited access highways?).

jjs | 07/08/2018

@Hammonddave - I agree on the U.S. now being much more litigious. But when FSD greatly reduces the number of accidents/incidents there will be much fewer opportunities to bring non-frivolous law suits. When thinking about law suits, robust FSD, will actually be a boon to reducing litigation.

@Silver2K - I agree with you regarding driving. It will be viewed as a right and people will insist on keeping it. However, I could envision an insurance company paying a much smaller portion of claims if the on-board computer in the car (black box) shows that a human was in control of the car at the time of an accident. There will be a number of ways that human control of cars can be curtailed.

@bp - I think you make a very compelling argument regarding edge cases. As I have engaged AP and watched the number of edge cases arise, it is startling, how many and how varied they are. It certainly will be the big challenge. I believe it will be the one factor that slows down the adoption. I wonder if "reverse geo-fencing" could be used. geo-fence the edge cases and hold in a database. As the car gets closer to one of these edge cases the driver is alerted to take over. This can be done so there is plenty of time for the driver to get reoriented, so the transition is safe. Clearly not level 5, but compelling for commuters with a long commute, particularly in congested areas.

carlk | 07/08/2018

Driving is not a right. The only reason we are allowing driving a car is its benefits far outweigh risks and there is no alternative for that. When there is an alternative and that kills much less people there is every reason for it to change. What is the difference between DUI and driving your own car when machines could do it many times safer?

TranzNDance | 07/08/2018

For edge cases, the car could be remote controlled, ideally recognizing that it needs guidance before it gets to the point of needing to slow down and stop.

Silver2K | 07/08/2018


"When there is an alternative and that kills much less people there is every reason for it to change. What is the difference between DUI and driving your own car when machines could do it many times safer?"

What do we do about the ever growing population?

Purge day?

tes-s | 07/08/2018

Works for me. :)

bill | 07/08/2018

I think all significant shifts in Technology have the majority doubting its success. If someone predicted what has happened because of the Internet before it was in general use the majority would have laughed at it.

It is hard to believe that a series of computers with dramatically more sensors than a human being can't be made to be more reliable at driving without incident then a human being. There will be a day when people look back and say how they can't imagine humans driving cars like people can't imagine going to the store to buy a newspaper to find out what is playing at the local theaters. | 07/08/2018

@Hammonddave "If autonomous cars stop for pedestrians, then what keeps pedestrians from jaywalking?"

With a vehicle's front facing facial recognition, the jaywalker could be identified, video recorded and ticketed all automatically. Make the fine large enough and problem should be solved. License plate recognition could handle cars that run red lights, identify stolen cars and handle other bad behaviors. Cars so equipped might even get a bounty for helping to reduce crime. Ok - maybe getting a bit 1984ish but the tech should be able to handle these issues far easier than the effort to create FSD. I'm also not necessarily saying if we as a country want to go this way, but it is an option if it becomes a significant problem.

Hammonddave | 08/08/2018

... Not if they were wearing masks! I can see it now... Crazy New Yorkers bring the system down!

Don't think it won't happen!