There might be a cloud, however, in this sunny picture. Specifically, I can’t understand why Musk continues to flog what he blithely calls a “Full Self Driving” (FSD) vehicle.
It’s commonly acknowledged — by everyone except Musk, apparently — that a fully autonomous vehicle is one that can drive itself from point A to point B without any human intervention. This is what car geeks call Level 5 automation, but that’s not what Tesla offers under the “Full Self Driving” designation. In today’s Tesla vehicles, an attentive driver is always required, and the company has no credible path to eliminating the human at the wheel.
One can’t help wonder when — not if — the NHTSA (National Highway Transportation Safety Authority) will intervene. Without a doubt, Tesla offers sophisticated driver assistance technology…but why not call it just that: Driving Assistance, or some hyperbolic but still truthful variation? It’s one thing to exaggerate a little or a lot about delivery schedules, it’s another to promise Full Self Driving that isn’t. Tesla’s brilliant performance doesn’t need that excess.