On Monday, Aug. 29, Tesla CEO Elon Musk expressed his intentions to have his company release its new self-driving technology by the end of 2022, aiming for a widespread release in the U.S. and perhaps in Europe if regulatory approval is passed.
Musk, however, has a tendency to exaggerate his own capabilities and announce early release dates for products, only for them to not happen. Plus, several issues surrounding Musk continue to place scrutiny on Tesla.
Still, he is keen on his hopes for Tesla to pull through with the year-end date.
AI-driven cars by year’s end
At an energy conference in Norway, Musk announced his focus on two aspects of his business empire; the development of his SpaceX Starship spacecraft, and self-driving Tesla electric cars, Reuters reported.
He hopes to have Tesla’s new artificial intelligence (AI)-driven vehicles out by the end of the year in the U.S., possibly expanding his target market to Europe as well.
“The two technologies I am focused on, trying to ideally get done before the end of the year, are getting our Starship into orbit… and then having Tesla cars to be able to do self-driving,” Musk said at the conference.
“Have self-driving in wide release at least in the U.S., and… potentially in Europe, depending on regulatory approval,” he added.
He later added that the world must rely on the extraction of oil and gas to “sustain civilization,” in addition to sustainable energy sources.
“Realistically I think we need to use oil and gas in the short term, because otherwise civilization will crumble,” Musk told reporters.
When asked if Norway should resume drilling operations, Musk replied, “I think some additional exploration is warranted at this time.”
“One of the biggest challenges the world has ever faced is the transition to sustainable energy and to a sustainable economy,” he said. “That will take some decades to complete.”
Musk made the comments about oil and gas as Europe is facing its worst energy crisis in decades as a result of Russia’s curbing of natural gas deliveries to the West, as well as nuclear power-plant outages in France, Bloomberg reported.
Musk also said that offshore wind power generation in the North Sea, coupled with stationary battery packs, are vital for the energy needed.
“It could provide a strong, sustainable energy source in winter,” he said.
Earlier in August, Musk said that the price of Tesla’s Full Self-Driving software would increase to $15,000 in North America. The reason behind this rise in price is unknown, but Musk said that the growing technology would cause it to become more expensive.
Tesla’s system would allow Teslas to automatically change lanes, drive in and out of freeways, and park itself. Being in the beta testing phase, it still requires a licensed driver to watch over the vehicle’s paths.
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The self-driving technology is also facing regulatory issues, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration declared in June that its probe into Tesla’s Autopilot system was being extended to find out if it was defective.
In July, the California Department of Motor Vehicles levied a complaint against Tesla, accusing the company of “untrue or misleading” statements surrounding its promotions of the driver-assisted programs.
Musk vowed to take legal action against tech CEO Dan O’Dowd and his safety advocacy group, The Dawn Project, for lambasting Tesla’s software in a trending ad campaign, which featured an ad showing a Tesla car crashing into a child-sized mannequin.
Tesla also seems to place release dates of his products in supposedly unrealistic times. His new Tesla Bot — the company’s brand-new AI robot — is also planned to be released by the end of the year. However, some questioned the planned date, citing fears from investors and the aforementioned issues surrounding Musk.