How’s This for a New Year’s Resolution: Musk Promises Level 4 FSD Coming Next Year


With a proven track record of overpromising and underdelivering, Elon Musk took the opportunity of his latest interview to promise Tesla vehicles might reach Level 4 autonomy for its Full Self-Driving system as soon as next year. We are five years after Elon Musk famously promised autonomous cars will be on the roads and we are yet to find any. Doubling up on that, he promised that, by 2020, one million robotaxis will roam the streets of big cities. And don’t get me started on the Cybertruck, Semi, or Roadster promises that are yet to materialize. And yet, Elon Musk does not seem bothered in the slightest to follow through. He constantly makes new prophecies or at least promises. I guess it takes dreaming big to achieve something small. One of the latest Musk promises might be regarded as a New Year’s resolution since it was made in an interview aired in the middle of the week running from Christmas to New Year’s Eve. In a podcast interview with Alex Fridman, Musk said “it looks quite likely it will be next year” when asked about Level 4 autonomy. It was a surprising declaration, considering Tesla’s Full Self-Driving system is still at Level 2 and only the Honda Accord in Japan and Mercedes-Benz S-Class in Germany are certified Level 3 cars. Musk went on to explain what has got him thinking this would be the case with Tesla FSD, and it turns out a lot of it has to do with his gut feeling. He does bring the fact that system interventions per million miles (the times when the driver has to intervene to correct an FSD problem) have been “dropping dramatically”. With that in mind, Musk is confident to say “the probability of an accident on FSD will be less than that of an average human.” “Interventions per million miles have been dropping dramatically. At some point, and that trend looks like it happens next year, the probability of an accident on FSD is less than that of an average human, and then significantly less than that of an average human. Then there’s going to be a case where we now have to prove this to regulators. We want a standard that is not just equivalent to a human but much better than the average human. I think it got to be at least 2-3 times higher safety than a human,” says Musk in the interview that you could watch below. Tesla Autopilot and Full Self-Driving technologies have been shrouded in controversy from the very beginning. Elon Musk argued people tend to become more critical when it comes to automated driving, although deadly car crashes happen every day on account of human drivers. This might be true, but it sure doesn’t help that Tesla cars tend to crash into emergency vehicles or kill people on the streets of Paris in Europe. Go ahead and watch Elon Musk’s comments on Autopilot, self-driving, and neural networks starting at 1:02:38 in the video below and tell us what you think.