owned by Tesla supposedly Full Self Driving (FSD) level 2 autonomous driving technology could soon be used by other brands, according to the company’s CEO.
“We are very open to licensing our fully self-driving software and hardware to other car companies. And we’re already in discussions with — preliminary discussions with major OEMs about using Tesla FSD,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk said during the Q2 2023 earnings call.
“So, we are not trying to keep this a secret. We are happy to license it to others.”
Tesla has already made its North American Charging Standard open source, with a growing list of automakers signing up to use its connector and gaining access to its charging network.
The company has stated, however, that it will charge a licensing fee for its FSD system.
Musk again reiterated his goal for Full Self-Driving to be what the name suggests, indicating this could dramatically increase the value of his vehicles.
“I think the value of the Tesla fleet increasing to the point where we can fully upload self-driving and it’s approved by regulators, will be the single biggest step change in asset value probably in history,” he said.
“The value of the car increases dramatically if it is actually autonomous. you know, [US]$15,000 is actually a low price, not a high price,” he added, noting the technology is also available as a monthly subscription.
He acknowledged the criticism of both him and the technology – after all, he cheekily said that by 2019 by the middle of next year, there will be “over a million Tesla cars on the road with full self-driving hardware” that drivers can trust to “sleep”.
“Well, obviously, you know, because people have mocked me and maybe, you know, kind of mocked me, my predictions about achieving fully self-driving have been optimistic in the past,” he said during the Q2 2023 earnings call.
“Now, I know I’m the crybaby FSD, but man, I think we’ll be better than humans by the end of the year.
“That does not mean we are approved by the regulator. And that will happen in the US because we have to focus on one market first. I think we will be better than humans by the end of the year.
“I have been wrong in the past. I might be wrong this time.”
Musk claims that to date, more than 482 million kilometers have been driven using FSD.
“It will soon be billions of miles and tens of billions of miles. And FSD will go from being as good as humans to being far better than humans. We see a clear path to fully self-driving that is 10 times safer than a normal human driver,” he said.
Musk said in June FSD will graduate from the beta stage with the next update.
This shows that the company is confident enough in the technology to no longer want to use the beta tag.
Musk did not confirm when Version 12 will be released. FSD Beta is currently at version 11.3.6.
The system has yet to launch in Australia, where only Autopilot – another Level 2 autonomous driving feature, if less comprehensive – is offered.
The Tesla FSD Beta first rolled out to select US owners in October 2020, before opening in November 2022 to all North American owners who purchased the option.
This feature allows Tesla vehicles to drive autonomously in most driving scenarios. It requires “active and perform driver supervision[es] does not make the vehicle autonomous”, according to Tesla’s website.
Building on Autopilot, which includes functions to suggest and execute lane changes and navigate within a lane with adaptive cruise activated, the FSD Beta can identify stop signs and traffic lights and slow down and stop the vehicle accordingly.
Tesla also continues to work on the Autosteer function for city streets.
As recently as this February, Tesla was forced to launch an over-the-air update because the FSD Beta “potentially violates local traffic or customs laws when performing certain driving maneuvers”.
Musk said last year he didn’t expect regulatory approval for Tesla’s autonomous driving technology until 2023.
Controversially, even as Tesla pursues increasingly autonomous driving, it has phased out radar and sensors and eschewed LiDAR in favor of its camera-based Tesla Vision system.
Tesla has caused controversy not only for FSD beta testing on public roads, but also for the effectiveness of its Autopilot technology.
The company is reportedly the subject of a criminal investigation from the US Department of Justice, three people familiar with the matter said Reuters last year an investigation was launched following more than a dozen accidents – some fatal – in which Tesla’s Autopilot system was active.
Prosecutors in Washington DC and San Francisco are reportedly examining whether Tesla misled consumers, investors and regulators by making unsupported claims about the capabilities of its driver assistance technology.
The investigation represents a more serious level of scrutiny than previous investigations because it could lead to criminal charges against the company or individual executives, the source said, and the DOJ could also seek civil sanctions.
The company confirmed earlier this year that the DOJ had requested documents about its Autopilot and FSD features.
The Autopilot investigation is currently competing with two other DOJ investigations involving Tesla, a source said Reutersadding that there is still a lot of work to be done and no results are imminent.
This is in addition to two ongoing investigations by the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, a US regulator.
One is in the engineering analysis stage and is looking at accidents with stationary emergency vehicles, while the other is looking at reports of ghost brakes.
The agency confirmed it is investigating the 17th fatal crash involving Autopilot, after a Model S collided with a parked fire truck in Contra Costa County, California in February.
Shareholders also recently filed a proposed class action lawsuit against Tesla in federal court in San Francisco, alleging they were misled by the company with false and misleading statements about technology that “creates a risk of serious accidents and injuries”.