2019 is set to be a make-or-break year for Tesla’s Autopilot. The US car manufacturer’s self-driving system should move towards completion over the next few months. As Tesla CEO Elon Musk himself announced, the system will enable “full self-driving” this year. It remains to be seen, however, if road legislation will permit its use.
Autopilot, Tesla’s driver-assist system, should be offering full self-driving by the end of 2019. Elon Musk revealed the development in a podcast interview with ARK Invest on 19 February, as reported by the newspaper 20 Minutes. “I’m certain we’ll release full self-driving this year,” said the Tesla boss.
Future “drivers” required to be vigilant
“The car will be able to find you in a parking lot, pick you up, take you all the way to your destination without an intervention this year,” added Musk. “I am certain of that.” After revealing that Autopilot is close to completion, Musk tempered the enthusiasm of his listeners by making it clear that drivers should not rely entirely on the system.
As the Tesla website itself warns, Autopilot users need to remain vigilant and in control of their cars: “Every driver is responsible for remaining alert and active when using Autopilot, and must be prepared to take action at any time.”
At present, Autopilot offers only semi-autonomous driving. Though the system does enable full self-driving on a technical level, drivers are still bound by road legislation. It remains to be seen if the law will allow them to rely entirely on Autopilot in the future. What is for sure is that regulations will vary from country to country.
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