Tesla has been working hard to complete a significant foundational rewrite of their Full Self-Driving (FSD) Autopilot software, and today CEO Elon Musk confirmed a limited beta release will happen in a few weeks.
During the company’s Q2 2020 earnings call, Musk revealed he was personally testing the latest alpha build of the new software in his own Tesla. Having first-hand experience with it, he said it was a “quantum leap” from the current version, and “profoundly better than people realize…it’s like amazing.”
In August Musk said the rewrite would be released in a limited beta test in 6-10 weeks, putting the release window right about now. The CEO has now updated that schedule and said it will come out “in a few weeks.”
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.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 8, 2020
Without specifying in which scenarios it would happen, Musk also said the new software is capable of driving to your destination with zero interventions from the driver. That appears to be an improvement as in the past he said the alpha build on his car can get him from his house to work, through varying settings like highways and construction zones, with “almost zero interventions.”
Musk has previously said a fully autonomous fleet of Robotaxis could still be on the road by the end of 2020, pending regulatory approval. Given a limited private beta release will only happen this month, that means it is unlikely a full wide release will happen before the end of the year.
Whether it happens this year or next, the release of this foundational rewrite of Tesla’s Autopilot software will be a huge moment for the automaker, and likely forever change the way people view their cars.