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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

Go deeper

Rahm Emanuel questioned on murder of Laquan McDonald in confirmation hearing

Rahm Emanuel during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing on Oct. 20. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel spoke about the murder of Laquan McDonald during his Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday to become the U.S. ambassador to Japan, saying that "there's not a day or a week that has gone by in the last seven years I haven't thought about this."

Catch up quick: McDonald was a Black teenager who was fatally shot 16 times by Chicago police during Emanuel's tenure as the city's mayor. The 2014 shooting triggered massive protests, both because of its nature and the fact that the officers' body-cam footage was concealed for years.

3 hours ago - World

Biden's ambassador nominee: "China is not an Olympian power"

Nick Burns testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden's nominee to serve as ambassador to China delivered a stark assessment of the challenges the U.S. faces in confronting Beijing, but stressed that the rising superpower is "not all-powerful" and the West retains "substantial" advantages.

The big picture: Nicholas Burns, a retired career diplomat and former U.S. ambassador to NATO, used his confirmation hearing Wednesday to echo the growing bipartisan consensus that China poses "the greatest threat to the security of our country and the democratic world" in the 21st century.

Scoop: U.S. and Israel to form team to solve consulate dispute

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (left) and Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (right) meet in Washington. Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. and Israel are planning to form a joint team to hold discreet negotiations on the reopening of the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem, Israeli officials say.

Why it matters: The consulate handled relations with the Palestinians for 25 years before being shut down by then President Donald Trump in 2019. Senior officials in Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's government see the consulate issue as a political hot potato that could destabilize their unwieldy coalition.

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