Elon Musk has never been the one to shy away from making bold claims and pushing the boundary of what is possible, while other Car manufacturers like Nissan are still wondering whether to use call-centres to operate Self-Driving cars under certain conditions, Elon Musk thinks Tesla’s cars will get “Fully Self-Driving Capabilities” within the next 3-6 months.
3 months maybe, 6 months definitely
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 24, 2017
Levels of Driving Automation
“Fully Self-Driving Capabilities” is an unambiguous term and what Musk is referring to might be the related to his earlier statement about dispatching a Tesla on a fully autonomous “American road trip” from Los Angeles to New York by the end of this year. A road trip that many consider is closer to Level 4 driving automation than fully autonomous driving capabilities i.e. the ability to drive wherever, whenever, whatever the weather without any fallback or assistance by humans.
What do the different levels of driving automation actually refer to? Here’s an handy chart from the Society of Automotive Engineers.
The timeline might sound a bit hurried and unrealistic but Tesla has been pushing the boundary when it comes to Driving Automation and if there is one company that seems poised to be the leader in Self-Driving cars, it certainly is them. The LA to NYC road trip might after all happen sooner than we expect!