Elon Musk unveiled the mass-production Model 3 back in March, 2016, and owners have been receiving the vehicles. There is a feature yet, full autonomy, that’s highway and suburban streets, that is still on the ‘coming soon’, a promise for the future to owners.
This feature actually costs a few thousand dollars and so far, autopilot in the Model 3 is no more advanced than what we seen a couple of years ago from the Model S. Musk was so confident about this technology that he suggested during a Ted Talk in April, that before the end of 2017, autopilot would drive humans from the east to west coast of the US, without human intervention.
“You could go all the way from a parking lot in California to a parking lot in New York with no controls touched in the entire journey.”
This didn’t happen.
Back in May, @tony_lo asked for an update on the coast to coast Autopilot demo, to which Musk replied, things were still on track for the end of the year. Only problem was, that never took place.
Tesla are great at innovating and pushing the automotive industry forward, to an all-electric future, but they are becoming well known for missing dates.
The coast-to-coast drive was designed as a technology demonstration, one that could backup the aggressive driver-less claims by musk. While the drive itself isn’t important, the capability is. Musk estimated that within 2 years (that’s now sometime next year), that people could safely fall asleep behind the wheel of a Tesla with Autopilot, because that’s how advanced their systems are.
Personally I really hope Tesla can evolve their systems rapidly and deliver on their promises. From reviewing the Model S a couple of years ago, it was clear then they were years ahead of the competition and still today, that remains the case. That won’t stand for long, with the smartest brains in the industry being deployed to solve this challenge for every auto manufacturer with a future.
Musk seems to be keen on Australia, so if he wants to do a Sydney to Perth run, or Brisbane to Adelaide may require some automated Supercharger action, that’d be OK too.