Elon Musk has made clear how much work Tesla engineers still have to do with the latest version of its experimental driver assistance software
Musk bluntly and very publicly tweeted this week that the latest version of FSD Beta 9.2, was “actually not great”, CNBC reported.
The statement is ironic, if one thinks back to July 2020, when at the opening of Shanghai’s annual World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC), Musk said that Tesla was “very close” to achieving level 5 autonomous driving technology.
Level 5 is the holy grail of autonomous driving technology, as level 5 vehicles will not require human intervention, and need for a human drivers is eliminated.
Indeed, it is said that level 5 cars won’t even have steering wheels or acceleration/braking pedals.
These cars will be free from geofencing, and will be able to drive anywhere, and do anything that normal car with a human driver can do.
But this week Musk has offered a more forthright assessment of Tesla’s current progress in a reply to a video about ‘Full Self-Driving’ beta software.
“FSD Beta 9.2 is actually not great imo, but Autopilot/AI team is rallying to improve as fast as possible,” tweeted Musk. “We’re trying to have a single stack for both highway & city streets, but it requires massive NN retraining.”
Tesla of course currently sells a Full Self-Driving capability (or FSD) package for $10,000 or $199 per month in the United States, to select people.
However, it is not approved by US officials, and still requires a driver behind the wheel paying attention and ready to takeover.
Musk’s comment comes after an official investigation was opened last week into Tesla’s Autopilot driving assistance system, after concerns were raised following a number of high profile accidents with emergency service vehicles.
In June this year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) had ordered all car makers equipping their vehicles with automated driving systems, to begin reporting crashes so the US regulator could “collect information necessary for the agency to play its role in keeping Americans safe on the roadways.”
Autopilot is the basic version of Tesla’s driver assistance system, and is a standard feature of Tesla cars.
Prior to that in November 2020, the NHTSA began a public consultation on ways to improve the safety of ‘self-driving’ cars.