Elon Musk promises that the first Tesla car that can drive fully autonomously will be available to buy before the end of this year, seemingly ignoring the promise that all Tesla cars sold so far with this Beta-stage capability will be able to be software-upgraded to the official version of the technology.
Launched in 2017, the Tesla Model 3 has already gone through multiple hardware and software revisions, raising doubts about the early-series cars’ ability to fully achieve autonomous driving capabilities. And the situation could be even worse for even earlier-launched Tesla series like the Model S.
Changing the rhetoric, Elon Musk is no longer talking about perfecting through firmware upgrades the equipment that current car owners have paid thousands of dollars for, but only promising that Tesla will start selling cars capable of fully autonomous operation by the end of this year. Of course, this could all be a simple misunderstanding resulting from perhaps incomplete phrasing.
In another moment of candor, the famous American entrepreneur seems to admit that a fully electrified future is not possible in today’s context: “Without oil and gas, civilization as we know it would collapse.”
Earlier this month, Tesla’s chief executive informed that the price of the Full Self-Driving package would increase for the second time this year, reaching $15,000 for North American buyers. The price increase comes on top of the price hikes already applied to the purchase of Tesla cars, justified by worsening economic conditions (e.g. inflation), i.e. higher prices for components and raw materials.
Certainly, despite Elon Musk’s promises, getting Full Self-Driving out of Beta depends on variables other than hardware and software capabilities, and the technology is the subject of much investigation and discussion over legal implications that could still long and well delay widespread adoption.