Tesla Admits Its Cars May Never Drive Themselves Despite Its “Full Self-Driving” Mode

If you’ve kept up with Tesla news lately, then you’ll know that a recent Model S crash in Texas has garnered attention for one main reason. That’s because authorities found that no one was sitting in the driver’s seat. This lead officials to assume that the driver engaged the car’s Autopilot system just before the crash. However, since the investigation isn’t complete, we don’t know for sure.

Unfortunately, this crash comes as the EV carmaker is currently beta-testing its “Full Self-Driving” system on public roads. In a bit of a shocking twist, a new report by Fast Company shows the company admitting its cars may never drive themselves.

Do Tesla cars drive themselves?

An image of several Tesla Model 3's parked outside.
Tesla Model 3 | Xinhua/Ding Ting via Getty Images

As of writing, no brand-new car has the ability to drive itself, regardless if it is produced by Tesla. However, the brand currently one very competent driver-assist system. This all begins with Autopilot, which comes standard with sensors and cameras on all brand-new Tesla’s.

The goal of these cameras and sensors is to provide the basis for the car’s main driver-assist system, dubbed “Full Self-Driving.” While its name might lead you to believe that your car can drive itself, it can’t. For now, the system is capable of navigating on Autopilot for about 10 seconds before requiring driver input. Additionally, you can do things such as auto lane change, auto park, and summon.

While these systems are great on their own, no one is buying the “Full Self-Driving” system for what it can do today. Instead, the carmaker sells the system today with the goal of adding features later on.

These self-driving cars might never become a thing

An image of a person steering a Tesla through a city.
Tesla Steering Wheel | Yuriko Nakao via Getty Images

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As of writing, Tesla is beta-testing its “Full Self-Driving” system across the U.S. While you’d expect engineers to handle this task, the carmaker has decided to open it up to normal consumers. However, a new report by Fast Company shows the EV carmaker taking a very different stance on the matter.

In fact, according to Fast Company, a 2020 annual report by the automaker stated that it was “continuing to develop our FSD technology with the goal of achieving full self-driving capability in the future.” This falls perfectly in line with its previous idea of selling the system upfront and updating it later.

However, a brand new filing found by Fast Company takes a stance. In fact, when referencing potential future autonomous vehicles, Tesla stated this:

“There is no guarantee that any incremental changes in the specific equipment we deploy in our vehicles over time will not result in initial functional disparities from prior iterations or will perform as expected in the timeframe we anticipate, or at all.”

Tesla via Fast Company

As you might expect, the key part is the “or at all” at the very end. Despite this, Fast Company states that despite this official comment, company CEO Elon Musk remains adamant that these self-driving vehicles will reach the market relatively soon.

How much does “Full Self-Driving” cost?

An image of several Tesla Model 3's parked outside.
Tesla Model 3 | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

If, like Elon Musk, you are a believer in the brand’s “Full Self-Driving” system, then you can purchase it now. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s cheap by any means. That’s because the system is currently a $10,000 option on any brand-new model from the brand. Since there isn’t any official timeline of when these features will arrive, is this a $10,000 gamble you’d take on?