Tesla’s Full Self-Driving functionality could be released by the end of 2020, according to Tesla CEO Elon Musk. In today’s Tesla earnings call, Musk stated that he is confident in FSD functionality being released by the end of 2020.
“I am very confident in FSD functionality being released by the end of the year. I’m litterally driving it” — @elonmusk
— Whole Mars Catalog (@WholeMarsBlog) July 22, 2020
In the Tesla shareholder report published today, Tesla noted that its traffic light and stop sign recognition system is becoming “more robust,” as it continues to collect more data from its customers as they drive through intersections. “The activation of FSD may go down in history as the big asset value change in history. Overnight, a million cars suddenly become 5 times more valuable.”
“When things do become full self driving, what do people want to do in the car — productivity and entertainment. People want to play games and do work.” —Elon Musk
Another thing Elon noted is that Full Self Driving (FSD) will probably result in the biggest asset value increase in history. He emphasized that it’s all about the extra potential for revenue and capability that is offered by software, but on a fleet of an enormous number of vehicles around the world.
FSD is also mentioned in Tesla’s profitability paragraph. Tesla’s operating profit improved in Q2 even though Tesla, along with the rest of the world, faced a lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. Positive impacts from software included recognition of $48 million of deferred revenue related to a FSD feature release.
A Quick Recap of Tesla’s Progress in Autopilot
As you know, Autopilot was what was first added to Tesla vehicles as an early foundation for FSD, and even as FSD features get added, a user activates Autopilot or “Navigate on Autopilot” to use those features. Today, Elon Musk said, “The Autopilot rewrite is what really matters for Full Self Driving. What we’ve been doing so far is really just mostly 2D, and not well correlated in time. It’s hard to convey just how much better a fully 4D system would work. Does work. ”
Back in June, I analyzed a video by Wes Bard who analyzed a short video by Tesla. The video showed the world through the eyes of Autopilot and Bard explained how the smallest details — things that we would naturally not even notice — showed just how impressive Autopilot is already. In Bard’s video, he spoke about stop signs, wet road, the little red X, and explained why all of these details mattered. But that’s all just 2D Autopilot.
“Everything is tiny compared to FSD” — @elonmusk
— Whole Mars Catalog (@WholeMarsBlog) July 22, 2020
Autopilot already saves lives and has prevented accidents and deaths. Imagine the possibilities once it has completed its transition to FSD.
One example was Storm Dennis in the UK, which prevented not one, but two, Tesla Model X vehicles and their passengers from being crushed by a tree. Both drivers had Autopilot enabled and their cars stopped them as a tree fell. Both were kind of stunned when they realized the driver on the other side of the tree was driving a Model X with Autopilot enabled and went through the same thing. No one was hurt.
Another example of how Tesla’s Autopilot saves lives was when it helped someone who was having pulmonary embolism make it to the hospital. The man, Joshua Neally, a Springfield (Missouri) lawyer, had a pulmonary embolism while driving and had to rely on Autopilot to drive him to the nearest ER. He was in a lot of pain and quite incapacitated. Neally credited Autopilot with saving his life.
Many Tesla owners also feel safer with Autopilot. 90% of Tesla Model 3 owners that were surveyed told Bloomberg that it made them safer. A total of 5,000 owners were polled, and even though not every single person had a positive experience, many did and they feel safer because of it. One driver from Florida said he felt something seemingly go wrong with the car when it suddenly slowed while driving on the highway. The car detected a stopped vehicle in front of the car he was following. The car he was following swerved out of the way and his Tesla had already reduced his speed enough to stop safely. The driver was easily able to avoid slamming into the vehicle that was stopped.
Another takeaway from that article concerned Smart Summon and how it could help those who could be mobility impaired. A comment from one owner stated, “My wife and I are different levels of mobility impaired. Summon was one reason we purchased Tesla. Having the car come get us in a slippery or icy parking lot reduces our chance for falling. We’ve tried it in several lots and while it could be more graceful, it has met expectations.”
It’s clear that not only will FSD change the world and revolutionize the idea of driving itself, but it will make things easier for those who may have mobility challenges — ranging from disabilities, such as color blindness, to challenges like those in the comment above.
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