Elon Musk Tells Dejected Tesla Owners Self-Driving Is Hard After Repeatedly Missing Deadlines
The FSD beta first rolled out in October 2020 to a select number of owners (as part of the early access program). However, Musk's repeated claims on delivering FSD updates to take driving duties further away from the driver have come up empty. On June 6th, Musk proclaimed, "One more production release of pure vision this week, then FSD Beta 9 a week or two later. V9.0 FSD is also pure vision. Foundational improvements are immense."
Two weeks later, Musk remained silent about the FSD v9 Beta update despite the earlier promises. Needless to say, as first pointed out by Electrek, some faithful Tesla owners are now openly mocking Musk's proclamations. @BLKMDL3 called out Musk directly, quipping that he had changed the name of his Model 3 to "Two Weeks" in honor of the blown deadlines.
To his credit, Musk frequently engages with customers over Twitter and replied to @BLKMDL3 by claiming once again that "FSD 9 beta is shipping soon, I swear!" Musk stressed the difficulty of developing FSD for Tesla vehicles, a conclusion that assumingly would have tempered his public comments on its release.
"Generalized self-driving is a hard problem, as it requires solving a large part of real-world AI," Musk added. "Didn't expect it to be so hard, but the difficulty is obvious in retrospect. Nothing has more degrees of freedom than reality."
Tesla's mission to deliver FSD has been somewhat complicated by its transition to Tesla Vision and the removal of radar from its newly produced Model 3 and Model Y EVs. "We believe that a vision-only system is ultimately all that is needed for full autonomy," said Tesla when describing its vision-based system. "Our AI-based software architecture has been increasingly reliant on cameras, to the point where radar is becoming unnecessary earlier than expected. As a result, our FSD team is fully focused on evolving to a vision-based autonomous system and we are nearly ready to switch the US market to Tesla Vision."
When Tesla Vision initially launched, autosteer was limited to speeds of up to 75 mph with a longer minimum following distance. Smart Summon and Emergency Lane Departure Avoidance were also disabled in the first release of Tesla Vision. However, in late June, Tesla released an update that raised the autosteer speed limit to 80 mph and added back support for Smart Summon and lane departure avoidance.
We also should mention that bold Musk's claims and missed deadlines are par for the course with Tesla. The company's two most recently announced products -- the Roadster and the Cybertruck -- have missed multiple deadlines leading up to production.