Tesla Reveals the Main Hurdle to Releasing Full Self-Driving

Tesla’s most highly-anticipated feature may take a long time to launch. Sales advisors have been telling consumers that full self-driving, which promises to drive a user’s vehicle point-to-point with no intervention, could take a “very long time” to launch, with regulatory hurdles varying from country-to-country.

The emails, shared by Electrek on Wednesday, reveal the company’s cautious attitude toward selling the feature as a $5,000 pre-order, only available on request after CEO Elon Musk removed the option from the company’s order website in October. Advisor emails are warning customers that “before I take your order for the FSD, I would like to point out that the legal aspect of Full Self Driving is very far away. Especially in Europe, the USA might be closer to get it legalized…so even when we have the hardware ready, and your car would have it, you would most likely not be able to use it for a very long time.”

A Tesla Model S with Autopilot driving the car.

See more: Elon Musk Calls for More Testers Ahead of Tesla Full Self-Driving Launch

Tesla first detailed its autonomous driving plans in October 2016, where it claimed that all future vehicles would ship with the necessary cameras and sensors to enable the feature at a later date. Although Musk promised that Tesla would complete a coast-to-coast autonomous drive by the end of 2017, he explained in February 2018 that the company was instead focusing on delivering the full feature rather than focusing on a “brittle” solution to complete the journey.

The firm has gradually provided more details about how this upgrade will work. Customers that pre-order the feature will receive a free upgrade to their car’s internal computer, replacing the Nvidia Drive PX 2 with an in-house chip that can process up to 2,000 frames per second with full redundancy and fail-over. At the end of 2018, Musk called on volunteer employees to participate in the internal test program, claiming the project is about to “accelerate significantly.”

Although Tesla has concerns about regulations, Musk said in a November 2018 interview that “I think we’ll get to full self-driving next year, as a generalized solution,” adding that “I would be very surprised if any of the car companies exceeded Tesla in self-driving, in getting to full self-driving.”

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