Musk says Tesla’s Autonomous Full Self-Driving system will be far safer than humans this year (2021)

When will we have self-driving cars? That’s difficult to say for sure, but Elon Musk’s latest tweet, gives us a timeline to base our expectations upon.

Responding to a post from George Hotz who runs Comma, also in the autonomous vehicle game, Musk confirmed that he is confident that we’ll see Tesla vehicles driving (using FSD) at a level that is far safer than humans by the end of 2021.

Musk provided the caveat around regulation, which is the great unknown. Armed with a fist full of evidence to provide that Tesla vehicles are safer than humans should present an incredibly compelling case, but those creating legislation don’t always follow logic.

As for the $10K bet that we’ll reach full level 5 autonomy, where the driver is not responsible for the car, Musk decided to leave that well alone.

Hutz has since replied to Elon’s post, saying he’ll buy a Model 3 with FSD. It makes lots of sense for a company working on autonomous driving, to keep an eye on the competition. When that competition is the market leader, that makes even more sense.

As we know from commitments in the past, Autonomy was originally planned to be delivered in 2019, then 2020, now 2021. With a staggered rollout around the world, its likely many parts of the world will not see this until 2022.

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The rollout and expansion of the FSD beta program will be very telling in terms of how far along Tesla is with the autonomous technology. If we see additional locations added in the next month or two, that’ll be promising, but if it’s 6-8 months before that occurs and we see early access program participants get it, I’d start to be concerned about the 2021 target for mainstream availability.

For cars to reach the SAE level 5 of autonomy, the cars also have to park themselves, something no Tesla does today. That’s not to say Tesla won’t be able to, but it simply hasn’t been a focus area (like Smart Summon), to date.

Being at level 5, where the driver is no longer responsible for the vehicle, would also mean Tesla assumes the liability in the event of an accident (caused by the car).

It’s an interesting road ahead and if the car can by many times safer than humans, then I say legislators should run, not walk to approving it, once they see the data that proves this to be the case.

This timeline for delivery for FSD is something of keen interest to many Tesla owners who have paid as much as A$10,100 on the promise that the cars will drive themselves.

Once FSD is complete, Tesla will also launch its Robotaxi network discussed at Autonomy Day in 2019. This will allow Tesla owners with the FSD package to enrol their car in the fleet. When the owner is not using the vehicle, it would accept ridesharing jobs like an Uber or Lyft, but minus the driver. Tesla would take their cut 20-30%, and you as the owner would get to make income from the car working on your behalf.

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Jason Cartwright
Jason Cartwright
Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021


  1. FSD is a hoax as long as not all cars are connected. The Teslas STILL don’t stop for stationary objects, they make large holes in heavy traffic and causes ‘accoirdion’ queues. (We have a LOT of Teslas in Norway..) They do not see markings properly, lacks LIDAR and allows FSD in insecure places. (I.e. not highways) Just this autumn/winter we have had three serious accidents that wouldn’t have happened with ‘manual’ cars. (There are very few accidents normally) Maybe the drivers are the problem?

  2. Take care since Elon did not make any predictions about L5,.. that is up to regulators to decide. I too hope that they “run to approving it”, to help reduce the million plus automobile fatalities every year. But regulatory approval is at least a two year exercise,… more if they start to demand improvements in specific scenarios. It is going to feel like the sloth at DMV in Zootopia:

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