This morning, Tesla CEO Elon Musk (chief engineering officer) tweeted that a limited version of Tesla’s Full Self Driving (FSD) software will launch on Tuesday, October 20. In response, a commentator on our article noted, “Yeah, there’s no reason to buy FSD now. I think we’ll see a bunch of videos coming out soon to give us a good idea of the progress and people can do the more informed. [Autopilot] upgrade decision probably in history this winter before the price changes again. This comment gave me the idea to write an article about the different things that I think will happen after Tesla implements this next update.
FSD’s limited beta will be released on Tuesday next week, as promised. This will, at first, be limited to a small number of people who are expert and careful drivers.
– Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 12, 2020
Before we continue, however, these predictions are for things that I think will happen after the new software is released more widely to the public, not the limited beta. I expected the general broadcast throughout the U.S. fleet to occur a few weeks later, or a week or two later at the earliest.
Also, if you’re not aware of the nature of this update, check out some of the backstory here: 10 Updates to Tesla Autopilot, Autonomous Driving and Elon’s Dojo Development. Musk. And if you want to know more about the Tesla Autopilot team and the work behind this software, see this CleanTechnica Exclusive: Tesla Autopilot Innovation Comes From A Team Of About 300 Jedi Engineers – Interview With Elon Musk.
What will happen after Tesla’s next Autopilot / FSD software update releases?
1. Social media will be inundated with Tesla owners posting videos of what their cars can do now. (I almost certainly will.)
2. Consumer interest in Tesla will increase again, and interest in the FSD package will also increase – among potential owners and current owners.
3. Tesla will increase the price of the FSD software package.
4. Eagle-eyed critics will identify a few shortcomings that the autopilot still struggles with, identifying remaining technical hurdles to a fully autonomous Tesla robotaxis.
5. Major media sites will write articles or post videos about a small percentage of Tesla owners doing crazy and potentially dangerous things with FSD. (There will always be idiots, and idiots will always be good at getting the news media to cover them.)
6. Some critics will claim that Tesla “Full Self Driving” is misleading and push for the terminology to change or for the technology to be banned altogether.
7. Myself and many others will start taking city trips where we will supervise our cars driving 100% of the time, without having to interfere with driving once, and therefore wow us. (I never thought I would see such a day before Tesla arrived.)
8. Financial analysts and investors will legitimately begin to build higher software revenues and profits into their models for Tesla [TS:A]. They will also begin to include potential robotaxi revenue in their models.
9. Elon Musk is going to tweet that we haven’t seen anything yet and that the cutting edge version of the tech he’s driving will. really blow our minds.
10. Tesla software will learn much more from the consumer fleet on how to drive better and Tesla will be rolling out updates in the weeks and months to come that will make the FSD experience even easier.
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