Tesla’s Autopilot plans haven’t exactly progressed as rapidly as Elon Musk initially claimed. If you recall, Musk a few years ago said that a Model S in 2017 would be able to drive itself from New York to Los Angeles with no driver interaction at all. While that obviously never came to pass, that hasn’t stopped Musk from making intriguing and surprisingly ambitious claims about the company’s Autopilot software.
As a more recent example, Musk just last month said that Tesla vehicles by the end of 2020 will boast full Autonomous capabilities.
“I think we will be feature complete, full self-driving, this year,” Musk said a few weeks back on the ARK Invest podcast. “Meaning the car will be able to find you in a parking lot, pick you up and take you all the way to your destination without an intervention, this year. I would say I am of certain of that. That is not a question mark.”
Driving the point home, Musk added: “My guess as to when we would think it is safe for somebody to essentially fall asleep and wake up at their destination? Probably towards the end of next year. That is when I think it would be safe enough for that.”
It’s a lofty claim, and while I’m personally skeptical that people will be going to sleep in cars for journeys of any distance anytime soon, I would certainly love to be proven wrong.
All that said, there’s no denying that Tesla continues to roll out nice performance improvements to its Autopilot software with each passing year. Just a few days ago, for example, Tesla began to slowly roll out an Autopilot update with a new Enhanced Summon feature that enables Tesla vehicles to park in and out of densely populated parking lots.
While Musk noted that the roll out will start out slow to allow Tesla to “find rare corner case issues” and fix them, Tesla owners who received the update have already taken to the Tesla subreddit YouTube with videos of the new Enhanced Summon feature in action. The demos below admittedly don’t take place in the most challenging of environments, but it’s a safe bet that we’ll see more instructive videos once the update hits more Tesla owners.