Feb 20, 2019

Elon Musk offers another self-driving prediction for Tesla

Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Photo: Nora Tam/South China Morning Post via Getty Images

Tesla CEO Elon Musk yesterday said the electric carmaker's full self-driving feature will be completed by the end of 2019. Don't count on it.

Why? Musk has made bold predictions before, telling Fortune in 2015 that Tesla cars would drive themselves within two years. So it's prudent to take his latest prediction, during a podcast interview with money management firm and Tesla investor ARK Invest, with a grain of salt.

Key quotes, from the podcast, per CNBC:

"I think we will be feature complete — full self-driving — this year. Meaning the car will be able to find you in a parking lot, pick you up and take you all the way to your destination without an intervention, this year. I would say I am certain of that. That is not a question mark."
"However people sometimes will extrapolate that to mean now it works with 100 percent certainty, requires no observation, perfectly. This is not the case."
"My guess as to when we would think it is safe for somebody to essentially fall asleep and wake up at their destination? Probably towards the end of next year. That is when I think it would be safe enough for that."

Between the lines: Until then, of course, drivers need to stay engaged and be ready to take control of the wheel at any time. The problem is that some people have already fallen asleep behind the wheel of a Tesla, mistakenly thinking Autopilot will deliver them safely to their destination.

  • Meanwhile, Tesla rivals are tempering expectations for self-driving cars, acknowledging that the challenges are more difficult than expected.

Go deeper: Traditional automakers are trying to gain ground on Tesla

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 p.m. ET: 1,273,990 — Total deaths: 69,444 — Total recoveries: 260,247Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 p.m. ET: 337,310 — Total deaths: 9,634 — Total recoveries: 17,461Map.
  3. Federal government latest: Surgeon general says this week will be "our Pearl Harbor, our 9/11 moment." The USDA confirms that a Bronx zoo tiger tested positive for coronavirus.
  4. 2020 latest: "We have no contingency plan," Trump said on the 2020 Republican National Convention. Biden says DNC may have to hold virtual convention.
  5. States updates: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state is "literally going day-to-day" with supplies.
  6. World update: Queen Elizabeth II urges the British people to confront pandemic with "self-discipline" and "resolve" in rare televised address.
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Intelligence community watchdog suggests Trump fired him for doing his job

Michael Atkinson, Inspector General of the Intelligence Community,at the Capitol in October. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson suggested in a statement Sunday President Trump fired him for acting impartially in carrying out his duties following a whistleblower complaint.

Why it matters: Atkinson alerted Congress last September to the complaint on Trump's correspondence with Ukraine's president, triggering an inquiry that resulted in the Trump's impeachment.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 33 mins ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll passes 9,500

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Recorded deaths from the novel coronavirus surpassed 9,500 in the U.S. Sunday evening, per Johns Hopkins data. The death toll in the U.S. has risen over 1,000 every day since April 1.

Why it matters: U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said on Sunday this upcoming week will be "the hardest and saddest week of most Americans' lives" — calling it our "our Pearl Harbor, our 9/11 moment."

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health