Home » Elon Musk Predicts Level 4 Or 5 Full Self-Driving ‘Later This Year’ For the Tenth Year In A Row

Elon Musk Predicts Level 4 Or 5 Full Self-Driving ‘Later This Year’ For the Tenth Year In A Row

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There are lots of things I don’t understand. Dutch. Crocs worn by people over 14 or if you’re not wading in water. String theory. People who get really into wine. But, perhaps most significantly, I absolutely do not understand why Elon Musk, noted billionaire, entrepreneur, Twitter messer-upper, and general Big Deal would claim that Tesla is going to achieve Level 4 or 5 fully automated self driving this year. I don’t understand it because not only do I think Tesla isn’t anywhere close to achieving this goal, but he’s made this same promise for an entire decade. Yes, my friends, 2023 marks the tenth time Elon has predicted full, no-human-required autonomy “this year” or sometimes “next year.” Why does he keep doing it?

This latest prediction came at the opening ceremonies at the 2023 World AI Conference in Shanghai, China. Elon video-phoned in his remarks and was displayed on a big screen at the conference, where he said this:

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Yes, that’s right, this year. According to Musk,

“I think we are very close to achieving full self-driving without human supervision… I think we will achieve full self driving, depending on what level you call it, four or five, I think later this year.”

Now, he does add

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“Now I’ve been wrong about this prediction in the past,”

Yeah, no shit. Which is why I’m writing this, because if I made wrong public predictions about things nine years in a row, I might consider holding back for that tenth one. But hey, I’m not the richest man in the world, am I? I’m just some dipshit whose last major purchase was five quarts of motor oil.

[Editor’s Note: Jason and I had a disagreement about whether this is worth reporting on1 in the first place. My argument is that we’ve heard “Musk promises something that he’s not delivered on in the past” many times before, so why keep reporting it? Jason says people are talking about this new promise, so it’s newsworthy. He’s not wrong, but I’m kind of over it. -DT]. 

Here’s a video (admittedly compiled by a known Tesla FSD critic, but all of the clips are of Elon himself, saying these words) of Musk promising full, no-human-needed driving automation for 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2022.

Then we have another prediction for 2021 instead of 2022 in this earnings call:

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So, that’s nine times, total, and with his newest prediction of later 2023, that brings us up to a nice, round ten times.

Ten times! Why? Why does he do this? I don’t understand it? Who is this helping? The FSD Beta software, while impressive in many ways, has not shown itself to be anywhere near close to being able to drive without human intervention at the levels that would be needed to qualify as a Level 4 or 5 system. Remember, those levels aren’t based on a given feature set, but rather describe the demands of the human and the operational driving domain.

Current Tesla FSD Beta is a Level 2 system, because the driver is always needed to be alert and ready to take over at a moment’s notice, something we saw very publicly demonstrated a couple weeks ago when, during a livestreamed debate between a pro-FSD Beta advocate and a critic, the Tesla operating under FSD Beta ran a stop sign and almost smacked into another car, but the crisis was averted because the human took control:

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I’m sure Elon is telling the truth when he said in that video at the AI conference that he “almost never needs to touch the controls,” but that’s not nearly enough to qualify a system that, if it were to be Level 4 or 5, would not require any human attention whatsoever. And FSD in its current state has by no means proved itself to be ready to operate with no human attention, not by a long shot.

What I don’t understand is the motivation for these claims here. Is he simply unaware of the current state of the software? Is he just wildly optimistic? Is this a deliberate tactic to achieve some manner of financial gain I’m too dumb to fully understand, or is it just a boast? Maybe he doesn’t care? I mean, I think most people would feel pretty self-conscious after being so publicly wrong for so many years in a row – he can’t just let one year slide by without making the same dumb claim? It’s already July, mothertruster!

What’s this do to the poor staff that works on FSD at Tesla? The big boss has just handed them a near-impossible unofficial deadline; even if it’s just said in passing, it’s still said very publicly, and that has to be putting pressure on that team.

I don’t know. Maybe this is what happens if you’re so rich that nobody can tell you to shut your big yap anymore; you end up saying shit like this to the whole world, with seemingly zero ability to self-reflect. Maybe this is all a side effect of a medical condition caused by an overabundance of Vitamin D in Musk’s colon, caused by people like these blowing so much sunshine up his ass:

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Fucking hell.

Since Elon has decided to make this, again, tenth bold prediction that Tesla will have L4 or 5 fully automated, no human needed driving before the year is out, maybe I’ll indulge myself and come up with a prediction of my own:

No, they won’t.

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Black Peter
Black Peter
2 months ago

He’s basically Justin Hammer from Iron Man at this point..

Myk El
Myk El
2 months ago

The man who suggested a literal dick measuring contest with Zuck is gonna be our savior?

ohyourseriousletmelaughharder.gif

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
2 months ago
Reply to  Myk El

To be clear. A MMA fight is not a “literal dick measuring contest”.
(somebody thinks their frat house college experiences were important and translate to the real world)

GK450
GK450
2 months ago

Oh no, the MMA fight is a separate contest that Musk proposed. Both proposals are independent of one another lol.

Ron888
Ron888
2 months ago

Oh come on,TEN YEARS. How is this not newsworthy David? Ten years of doing the same stupid thing is a big deal.It had to be celebrated XD

Harris K Telemacher
Harris K Telemacher
2 months ago

One of these days, he’ll be right. And then, on that day, you will be eating your black, black crow, Jason Torchinsky.

Where is my Musktown Kool-Aid? I’m ready to ascend!

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
2 months ago

*sigh*

bless his heart

Manuel Verissimo
Manuel Verissimo
2 months ago

Nah it’s gonna happen.

September: Elon declares “crashes [to be] OK if you really think about it”
October: updated Telsa User Agreement through OTA adding “you don’t mind dying a little do you?”
November: driver attention is no longer required, welcome to level 5 guys.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
2 months ago

I remember a time, not long ago, that I stopped visiting certain automotive websites due to the fact that they just couldn’t manage to distance themselves from the common pandering to click bait articles about Elon and all the divisiveness that ensued within the comments.
Sure it gets hits. It’s probably important news in the automotive industry.
But it isn’t fun. Unless you consider arguing about nonsense and making sad jokes about a misguided mogul fun.
The farther y’all step outside your comfort zone and the harder you reach for relevance in the world of automotive journalism the less I appreciate this site.
It’s starting to get just as rude and boring as everything else out there.
Peace out bitches.

Matt Campbell
Matt Campbell
2 months ago

Yet, you saw the article among all of the other ones on the website, clicked on it, and then even commented on it.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
2 months ago
Reply to  Matt Campbell

I even went so far as to make rude comments about Elons looks if you read further down. Cause I’m an asshole and articles like this, useless one, draw assholes to the comments like moths to a flame.
I’m not immune to the rhetoric, but I can see it for what it is.
Perhaps that’s why it bothers me so much.
Perception’s a tool that’s pointed on both ends.

CopperFireMist
CopperFireMist
2 months ago

Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
2 months ago
Reply to  CopperFireMist

Little help? This door handle is confusing. Can someone let me out?
Guess I’ll just climb out the window like a Duke boy..
(climbs out window, ass over teakettle)
Can you pop the trunk? I’m not leaving without my moonshine.
And my Autopian tee shirt.
But that’s all I need.
Oh wait!..
I left my pride and a CD in the glove compartment.
I’m gonna need those.
But that’s all I need.
… wait, I had a beverage man…
(wanders off awkwardly, carrying too much crap, dropping things along the side of the road as I go)
But that’s all I need..

Ron888
Ron888
2 months ago
Reply to  Matt Campbell

This kind of stupid comment really pisses me off.Such reasoning is idiotic

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
2 months ago
Reply to  Ron888

Yup, you didn’t like a thing and so you gave your opinion on why you didn’t like it? Attack!..

“Why did you read it in the first place dummy?”
Probably because I read all of the articles, and it’s impossible to tell where they are going until I finish them.
Sometimes I agree.
Sometimes I don’t.
So what?
You’re not great at critical thinking are you Mr. Campbell?
I’m not sorry if my opinions hurt your feelings. They are just opinions, grow some thicker skin.

Ilikecarsandbikes
Ilikecarsandbikes
2 months ago

I mean it has Jason as the author and Elon Musk in the title… If that isn’t the yellow brick road going to the emerald city…

I wanted to see how they documented the ten predictions because I am far too lazy to verify that on my own

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
2 months ago
Reply to  Matt Campbell

Similar to how you saw my comment among all the other ones, read it, then got all hot and bothered enough to reply? Not to debate my original point (which I’m down for whenever you’re ready to have an actual opinion on it?), just to mindlessly reply?

Vanillasludge
Vanillasludge
2 months ago

He’s as regular as a Lyndon LaRouche campaign and just as reliable!

BigThingsComin
BigThingsComin
2 months ago
Reply to  Vanillasludge

I was thinking Jim Cramer reliability, but I think you nailed it.

Flat6Fever
Flat6Fever
2 months ago

Words to Elon (and other narcissists) are fungible. If reality does not support your desired outcome, you simply declare that the words mean something else.

Full Self Driving means that a Tesla vehicle cannot transport a partial human.

Freelivin1327
Freelivin1327
2 months ago

What a damn fool…and those people are so delusional…what a joke

Meet Dave Jensen
Meet Dave Jensen
2 months ago

Probably Musk has a chauffer but to keep him occupied they put a fake steering wheel in front of him, like Maggie on the Simpsons. So Elon thinks he is driving and never has to steer so FSD. OR he just says it to irritate people for fun.

Max Perrella
Max Perrella
2 months ago

He makes more selling stock than cars. Hello? FTC?? You out there?

Marlin May
Marlin May
2 months ago

And now it’s time for something really special!

Knowonelse
Knowonelse
2 months ago

So, the “we’ll have a flying car in two years” folks have just morphed into Level 4/5 cars “next year”. Same concept, just a different vehicle and half the prediction.

Mike Gilheany
Mike Gilheany
2 months ago

Fun Crocs fact: They were used in the movie Idiocracy before they were popular because they wanted a futuristic looking shoe that was strange and dumb.
Here’s my prediction: We are rapidly heading towards REAL idiocracy. This will be true before Musk’s FSD. Sadly, by then we will need FSD to get around.

Meet Dave Jensen
Meet Dave Jensen
2 months ago
Reply to  Mike Gilheany

COTD

Mike Gilheany
Mike Gilheany
2 months ago

Jason, next time save yourself some grief and have the article open up to: A) Nothing at all. B) A gif of a Tesla crashing repeatedly C) Something else that is brillantly funny that I know you would come up with.
You can title it: “Man who is wrong every time about FSD makes another incorrect prognostication”.

Dar Khorse
Dar Khorse
2 months ago
Reply to  Mike Gilheany

Agree. This could be the Autopian version of Esquire’s famous “Why is this man laughing?” gag that ran for 41 years. Perhaps “Why is this man lying?”

Last edited 2 months ago by Dar Khorse
Harvey Park
Harvey Park
2 months ago

> Is this a deliberate tactic to achieve some manner of financial gain I’m too dumb to fully understand

It gets him free publicity. That means moar moneys and a boost to his narcissistic egomaniacal self esteem.

Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
2 months ago

I wear Crocs all the time. Purely because they don’t hurt my feet and IDGAF how I look anymore.

He’s a con man and this is just another one of his cons. It’s still profitable, so why should he stop? He’s also a narcissist so he wants to finally be right.

I’m pretty sure that if I were the richest person in the world, I wouldn’t want anyone to know it or even know who I was, but to each his own.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
2 months ago
Reply to  Crank Shaft

A con man? Tell that to all the people who use PayPal(this very possibly includes you), and all the people who use Starlink internet, or all the people who drive Teslas, or the astronauts who went to the Space Station in a SpaceX rocket.

A con man takes your money a skips town without delivering what you paid for. Elon musk definitely delivers. Not always, and rarely on time, but not a con.

Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
2 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

Yes, a con man. He takes money for FSD/AP and doesn’t deliver for a decade. He knows it’s vaporware but still keeps selling confidence that it will work someday. Con artists often gain your trust by coming through in part. They will keep scamming you until they are stopped if they are able (see The Big Lie). Repeat: Con Man

Meet Dave Jensen
Meet Dave Jensen
2 months ago
Reply to  Crank Shaft

Well this has to be the worlds longest con. Actually built factories and cars and a new charging infrastructure, built rockets that put satelites into space, created space link that helps the Ukraine kick Russian ass, single handedly started the successful EV revolution, said company forced the big 3 to actually start seriously concentrating on EVs, encouraged countries to declare an end date for ICE cars, his company is the most highly valued company in the world.
But yeah piss a liberal off all that means nothing because what they feel is true and what is actually true is a racist conservative scam.
And i dont even particularly like Musk, EVs, or Trump.

Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
2 months ago

I totally get what you’re saying, but I don’t think you ken my point. He knowingly tells people for over a decade that something they paid a rather high price for will work next year. Any other successes may or may not have been built on lies, but that does not negate this lie.

It’s an outrageously extreme exaggeration made purely to make my point, but it’s kind of like you and Rust Buckets are saying that a youth pastor who hooked up with one of the kids should be let off because of all the other kids he/she helped. The argument can be made, but it will never be valid.

Just because he thinks he can pull it off if you have enough Confidence to give him your money doesn’t mean he’s not lying. See Cybertruck.

And the reason I’ll always pipe up about this particular subject is that I think a number of people have died directly because of his lies about FSD/AP. Not cool under any circumstances.

Meet Dave Jensen
Meet Dave Jensen
2 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

You are correct but arent going to convince anyone here.

Peter Thompson
Peter Thompson
2 months ago

Hey there’s nothing wrong with crocs, aside from how it looks.
And I’m old enough not to care about how it looks.

One day I was out and about, and one of my flip-flops broke, so I popped into a nearby bargain store and bought some fake crocs, just so I’d have something on my feet the rest of the day.

And what do you know, they were incredibly comfortable.
When they wore out, I bought a pair of real crocs.

Oh, and Elon is terrible.

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