And once again, we'll believe it when we see it.
Just as the Tesla Model 3 began deliveries to customers, company CEO Elon Musk said a self-driving chip would arrive in six months and enable Full Self-Driving Capability. That was in 2018. We are about to reach the end of 2020, and Tesla still does not offer this feature. As a quick reminder, Tesla still charges customers for the Full Self-Driving Capability, even though the ability does not exist. The option currently costs $8,000 on Tesla's online configurator. You can purchase the feature later on, but Tesla says the price may increase over time.
We've come to take Musk's words with the finest grain of salt at this point, but the CEO recently tweeted (once again) that the self-driving ability will come soon, in a few weeks, apparently.
In response to a tweet about a competing autonomous driving technology company, Musk said, "Waymo is impressive, but a highly specialized solution. The Tesla approach is a general solution. The latest build is capable of zero-intervention drives. Will release limited beta in a few weeks."
The current Autopilot system already allows Tesla vehicles to steer, accelerate, and brake automatically within its lane. This update would allow the car to navigate itself on Autopilot from point A to point B without any driver interaction, though the driver would need to stay alert at all times.
Teslas are already capable of this feat on the highway, but would now have the ability to steer on city streets.
As a limited beta, only Tesla employees and possibly a few select customers will have the ability to access this new feature. After years of promising full self-driving, we remain doubtful of any claims made by Tesla on this feature's arrival. Even if an over-the-air update can instantly activate the ability for thousands of Tesla vehicles, there are still many factors that warrant consideration, including the legality of a car driving itself.