Despite the companies’ desire to fulfill the “Full Self-Driving” option in its cars, Tesla will be removing the option from its orders section on their website.
Founder Elon Musk commented on the decision via Twitter, stating that the option will be available “off-menu” for a week, as reported by The Verge. However, it won’t stay in the secret menu for long. Tesla will be getting rid of the option until it is ready for full release. In its current state, the full driving ability was “causing too much confusion” for drivers to keep it easily accessible.
Image © Tesla
In 2016, Musk claimed that Tesla vehicles would be fully autonomous by the end of 2017. “I feel pretty good about this goal. We’ll be able to do a demonstration guide of full autonomy all the way from LA to New York,” he said during a press call. “So basically from home in LA to Times Square in New York. And then have the car go and park itself by the end of next year.” This news came shortly after Musk claiming a 2018 release date, so it seemed that Tesla was making good progress on the movement.
However, it seems those claims were false, as the feature is nowhere near working as intended. Despite this, Tesla has been promoting the innovation on their website ever since Musk’s claim. They called it an easy add-on that only needs a couple of thousand dollars and some patience.
Musk also stated that the group would need to upgrade current cars with an A.I. chip to become fully autonomous. This would mean drivers would have to turn in their vehicles to do so. That’s something they probably wouldn’t be happy about.
In an email to The Verge, an Enderle Group technology analyst, Rob Enderle, says that “Tesla has had a ton of problems with their autonomous driving approach.” Also, Enderle criticizes Tesla’s multiple-year usage of the word “autopilot,” despite the system being very situational and always requiring a driver to watch over it. Not surprisingly, the German government even accused the company of “misleading” customers by using the term in advertisements.
On top of this, the European New Car Assessment Program (Euro-NCAP) released a report calling Tesla out as well. The report reads that the group is “confusing consumers about the actual capabilities of the Autopilot system.”
The Public Answers
A recent poll released by Euro-NCAP and research company Thatcham echoed these sentiments. The survey took info from 1,567 car owners all over the world in the U.S., U.K., France, China, Germany, Spain, and Italy. 71% of respondents believed that they can buy a self-driving car right now. This belief is entirely false. Also, the poll states that 11% of drivers think they can nap while “self-driving” is on.
Some other findings include:
– The top three brands drivers believe sell fully self-driving cars today are: Tesla (40%), BMW (27%) and Audi (21%)
– One in five (18%) British motorists think that a car marketed as being capable of automatic steering, braking and acceleration allows them to “sit back and relax and let the car do the driving”
– Only half (51%) of drivers believe they would be liable in the event of a crash when using Assisted Driving systems.
To back up their investigation, the Director of Research at Thatcham, Matthew Avery, states:
“Our message is that today’s technology supports the driver. It is not Automated Driving and it is not to be relied upon at the expense of driver attentiveness. The driver is in control and must always remain alert. If used correctly Highway Assist systems will improve road safety and reduce fatalities, but they won’t if naming and marketing convinces drivers that the car can take care of itself.”
This terminology confusion isn’t much of a surprise. However, it remains to be seen how Tesla and other companies handle the promotion of self-driving in the future. Hopefully, they’ll wait until it is fully fleshed out before rereleasing it.