Tesla FSD and Others
According to two leading research groups, WeAreGHInsights and ABIresearch, Mobileye has been recognized as the leader in the development of autonomous vehicle technology. These two groups assessed multiple companies both quantitatively and qualitatively across a broad range of criteria and found Tesla to be dead last.
First off, I find it amusing whenever a company promotes a Tweet like this, which means they paid to have the Tweet show up, and then says it is the leader. These two research and insights firms are located in the U.S. They have the freedom to share whatever they want, and it is on Twitter, which Elon Musk bought. Free speech is in action here.
This is also akin to Tesla publishing a post on its page and saying, "Look, we are the leader in autonomous driving technology because we have the most cars on the road gathering data, even though we require a human in the driver seat." Use whatever criteria you want, but the number of vehicles and data being gathered are what matter for a global fleet of autonomous vehicles.
The biggest question is why is Tesla dead last in autonomous driving systems? I think one of the reasons it is being listed as dead last is because Tesla is very clear that its current system is a Level 2 driving system and requires continuous human monitoring. It does not yet have a car driving around with nobody in it, whereas systems like GM Cruise do.
If you use that as criteria for autonomous driving technology - can or does the car drive around with nobody in it, then Tesla will not be the leader right now. I agree with that. However, this is a little misleading, and I'll explain why in the next section.
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Who Will Get to Autonomy First?
The most important question to ask about automated driving systems is who will get their first in the largest amount of area and market share. It's not who can have a few cars driving in a few select areas without anybody in the driver seat. If that is the criteria, then Tesla shouldn't be first, and I wouldn't want them to be.
When you have drivers using the automated driving system, like Tesla does, they do videos on YouTube - which there are thousands of, demonstrating Tesla's FSD software. Those drivers also now have the ability to send in voice notes to Tesla explaining things that go wrong and decisions made. This is good because driving and roads are made for humans.
Tesla is going to have drivers in their cars until one day... They don't need drivers anymore. It's going to be like a light switch being turned on. One day, the software will be so good at driving anywhere that all Tesla vehicles will become autonomous. This may happen in the U.S. first where Tesla has the most data, but this pattern will take place in other countries too.
Tesla's data gathering is second to none, and that is what really matters to have autonomous technology be successful on a global scale. Yes, other companies are beating Tesla in driverless systems in small, select areas when you use the criteria of having a driver in the seat or not. This isn't scalable for those companies, and those companies don't have millions of vehicles on the road gathering data to train neural nets, and that is what really matters.
Do you think Tesla FSD is dead last in autonomous driving systems?
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Jeremy Johnson is a Tesla investor and supporter. He first invested in Tesla in 2017 after years of following Elon Musk and admiring his work ethic and intelligence. Since then, he's become a Tesla bull, covering anything about Tesla he can find, while also dabbling in other electric vehicle companies. Jeremy covers Tesla developments at Torque News. You can follow him on Twitter or LinkedIn to stay in touch and follow his Tesla news coverage on Torque News.