Tesla Engineer Reveals Elon Musk Overstated Autopilot Capabilities

It appears that Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been overstating the capability of its self-driving technology, according to one of the company’s engineers.

According to a series of documents from the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) which were published by the legal-advocacy group Plainsite, CJ Moore, a director of Autopilot software, has revealed that Musk’s previous claims about the capability of Autopilot were significantly inflated. During an earnings call in January, Musk stated and tweeted that Tesla is slated to achieve full autonomy as early as this year. However, the March 9 DMV memo states that “Elon’s tweet does not match engineering reality per CJ.”

Although Musk has repeatedly said that Tesla is on the cusp of reaching Level 5 autonomy —which means its cars will no longer require human intervention— drivers still have to keep their hands on the wheel when Autopilot is engaged. In fact, Tesla even raised over $2 billion in 2019 followings Musk’s optimistic predictions about robotaxis that never came to fruition.

Tesla is at Level 2 currently,” wrote chief of the California DMV’s autonomous vehicles branch Miguel Acosta in the memo. “Tesla indicated that Elon is extrapolating on the rates of improvement when speaking about L5 capabilities. Tesla couldn’t say if the rate of improvement would make it to L5 by end of calendar year,” he added.

Information for this briefing was found via Plainsite. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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