What Is Taking Tesla FSD So Long?
Tesla FSD has taken a long time to get going and reach its full stack version, 11.0. There are many 0 intervention drives that get posted to Twitter and YouTube regularly, as well as videos where there are issues with FSD.
Elon Musk has generally been very optimistic about the ability of Tesla and others to get FSD (full self-driving) up and running to a point it can drive better than a human. The public could be frustrated with these statements as FSD is not there yet. There is one reason though, why FSD hasn't been solved yet.
If you can get FSD right 9/10 of the time, you will still kill some people, injure people, or wreck other people's cars. 9/10 if a pretty good percentage, however, with FSD, there are huge consequences even with that high of an accuracy. You have to get an accuracy that is well beyond 90%.
You need software that is 99.99+% correct. You cannot have 90% or 99% accurate driving. Even 99.9% is not good enough. At 99.99% or greater, that is probably better than the average human driver. The problem is that all research and commercial products for AI are saying they are at 75%-95% accuracy - but for FSD, those percentages are not acceptable.
Older models of FSD were horrible, with vehicles tumbling around, so there have been great improvements since then. The expectations of FSD are incredibly high and they should be. You have to have software that can drive much safer than a human.
The timeline of FSD has constantly been underestimated. This is likely a conditioning done by coding in general. For mission critical things, a 95%-98% accuracy is pretty good. For instance, space flight, you need something to work 100% of the time. You needed redundancy and to greatly minimize the chance of failure. Even with that, there have been tragic space accidents. This is pre-programmed things though.
Neural networks are difficult to understand. You have a lot of tuning nobs of how you adjust the neural network. It can create situations where you don't understand why and how things are happening. When you adjust the various nobs and values, you'll get different results. It makes it hard to know how to improve something unless you have a deep knowledge of machine learning and AI.
Improvements have been made, such as Tesla counting the photons to improve latency and accuracy, and then this goes back into the neural network. General human thinking is not going to help understand AI and neural networks.
The bulk of the work will appear to get to 99% and to an eventual 99.9%, 99.99%, and 99.999% and more. That's going to be incredibly difficult due to the random nature of the world, people, vehicles, weather, and anything else. This is where the most time is going to take.
Is FSD taking a long time? Will it continue to get delayed and fall behind? Will we have autonomy start by 2023 or 2024?
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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.