Tesla's full self-driving feature has been a long time coming. At an investor meeting on Wednesday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk made some exciting announcements regarding the technology.
Elon Musk announced that full self-driving capabilities for Tesla cars may be available by the end of the year. It will be an early access release as Musk believes a full-scale release is not something Tesla is ready for yet.
Basically, full self-driving is going through a limited beta test. In simple terms, you can't expect self-driving cars on the road by the end of this year, but the likelihood that the technology is available in a fully operational state is high.
So what does 'full self-driving' entail? It simply means that you will be able to go from home to work with the car driving itself. However, it will need a human driver at the wheel for emergency situations. Tesla has not only tested fully autonomous driving, but it has also introduced a Smart Summon feature – which will allow a person to summon his car using his/her phone and the car will arrive from the parking lot to the person's position.
It is currently in a basic state and waits for an update as many users have reported bugs. The company will also not allow customers to be hands-off the steering at medium speeds, which is most indicative of traffic lights or intersections.
Tesla is expected to activate full self-driving by mid-2020 – the company claims that its system would have improved so much by then, that drivers may not have to pay much attention to the road for most of their journeys.
The company also has plans to roll out autonomous taxis in some parts of the US. Customers will be able to add their cars to the Tesla network, and customers will be able to use them like Uber or even, Airbnb.
Customers who already own a Tesla will be able to add a full self-driving option for around $8,000 (Around £ 6910).
You can't trust Musk's words entirely though, as he is known for missing deadlines.