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Will Tesla roll out the fully autonomous autopilot feature before 2021?

In a recent interview the CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, stated that Tesla would be able to roll out a fully autonomous autopilot (software) for their fleet by the end of 2020 that would enable a driver to fall asleep behind the wheel and wake up in the parking lot of their destination. “I think we will be ‘feature-complete’ on full self-driving this year (2019), meaning the car will be able to find you in a parking lot, pick you up, take you all the way to your destination without an intervention this year,” Musk said. He caveats that doesn't mean the autopilot will always work, instead claiming Tesla will enter the “march of nines”, increasing certainty incrementally.

That being said he has little influence on the regulators’ confidence, certainty, and conservatism, which can vary a lot between jurisdictions.

Currently, Tesla's automated driving features is currently classified as a level 2 on the a five level scale according to the Society of Automotive Engineers' (SAE International) five levels of vehicle automation.

By the end of 2020, will Tesla roll out autopilot features that are classified by SAE International as level 4 or 5 on their 2016 five point scale?

Resolves positive when: Autopilot of described SAE level 4 or 5, as defined by SAE international's 2016 classification, is rolled out on at least county level anywhere (may not be the US).

  • SAE level 4 is characterized as ("mind off"): The driver can safely turn their attention away from the driving tasks, and no driver attention is ever required for safety, e.g. the driver may safely go to sleep or leave the driver's seat. Self-driving is supported only in limited spatial areas (geofenced) or under special circumstances, like traffic jams. Outside of these areas or circumstances, the vehicle must be able to safely abort the trip, e.g. park the car, if the driver does not retake control.

  • SAE level 5 is defined as Level 5 ("steering wheel optional"): No human intervention is required at all. An example would be a robotic taxi.

Resolves positive if any autopilot system, or "feature" released by Tesla before the end of 2020 is is judged by experts and/or common consensus to meet SAE's 2016 classification as level 4 or above. Note that this judgement may occur after 2020, but must involve an autopilot system or version released before the end of 2020.

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