Will Tesla Cars Ever Really Drive Themselves? Elon Musk’s Promises Keep Getting Delayed

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Elon Musk Teases Cheaper Cars — What's the Plan?
Elon Musk (Credits: Britannica)

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, has been promising self-driving cars for almost ten years now. Are we any closer to seeing Teslas zipping around without drivers?

At a recent Tesla meeting, Musk focused heavily on self-driving cars and artificial intelligence, downplaying new car models. He even said investors should consider Tesla an AI company, not just a car company.

This isn’t exactly new. Musk has been making similar promises about self-driving Teslas for years, but they haven’t come true. Back in 2016, he talked about a Tesla ride-hailing service where you could even earn money from your own car. In 2019, he promised over a million robotaxis on the road by the next year, which obviously never happened.

Tesla's Uphill Battle After Recent Controversy
Tesla Office (Credits: Tesla)

Tesla’s self-driving software, called FSD, was supposed to make owners rich by letting their cars become part of a ride-hailing network. People have paid thousands for FSD, but it still requires constant attention from the driver. It’s nowhere near true self-driving.

Musk keeps hyping new updates to FSD, promising big improvements “in a few months.” This sounds familiar, because he’s been saying this for years. In 2016, he said you could summon a Tesla from across the country in two years! In 2021, he said FSD would be as safe as a human driver “this year.”

Here’s the problem: FSD isn’t safe yet. Drivers still need to pay close attention while using it, because it can make mistakes. Other companies, like Waymo, already have self-driving cars carrying passengers in some cities.

Some experts believe Tesla’s approach to self-driving cars is flawed. They rely on cameras only, while other companies use a combination of cameras, radar, and detailed maps. This might make it harder for Tesla to achieve true self-driving cars.

Tesla's Superior Model 3 Performance
Tesla’s Superior Model 3 Performance (Credits: Tesla)

Despite all this, Musk keeps the hype train rolling. He’s planning to reveal a special robotaxi design in August, without a steering wheel or pedals! He also wants to license FSD to other car companies.

Tesla is a successful car company, and they’ve pushed the electric car industry forward. Maybe the next version of FSD will be the real deal. Maybe their robotaxi will compete with Waymo. However, after years of empty promises, many people are skeptical that Musk’s self-driving dreams will ever become reality.

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