Tesla has missed yet another self-imposed deadline; but this one has nothing to do with the Model 3, or the product deliveries. It was realized that the coast-to-coast autonomous drive that the company originally promised in 2016 did not happen in 2017 and that it’s still “upcoming.”
In 2016, Tesla built a new version of its semi-autonomous system, known as Autopilot, after its public breakup with the original supplier of the technology. Shortly after unveiling the replacement hardware and software, CEO Elon Musk claimed that the company’s new version — Autopilot 2.0 — would be so good that a car equipped with it would complete a trip from Los Angeles to New York without a single moment of human interference. Musk also said Tesla would be able to develop the tech fast enough to pull off this demonstration by the end of 2017.
This fall back is a result of Tesla undergoing a torrid time with the production of the Model 3. In a letter to the shareholders released earlier today, Musk revealed that anything not related to getting the Model 3’s production up to speed has taken a back seat. He also said that the company could have made the drive just for the sake of meeting the self-imposed 2017 deadline, but that’s just not what they want.
The company did promise today that “new Autopilot features” will be rolled out in “2018 and beyond.” On the investor call, Elon hinted that this self-driving stunt could happen in the next three to six months, and that similar capabilities would be made available to Tesla owners as well — though he made the same exact promise one year ago.