Elon Musk aims to release a fully self-driving Tesla in 2022 as he urges drilling for oil and gas
Speaking before the audience at an energy conference in Norway, the world's electric vehicle playground, Elon Musk pegged the 2022 release of a self-driving Tesla as one of his two main priorities to get done by year's end. "The two technologies I am focused on, trying to ideally get done before the end of the year, are getting our Starship into orbit ... and then having Tesla cars to be able to do self-driving," said Musk.
This could mean that the latest Full Self-Driving Beta 10.69.2 update that will be released on September 5 is considered a big step towards officializing Tesla cars as true Level 3 autonomous driving vehicles in all situations, at least in the US. For legal reasons, the software is now considered Level 2, has the Beta tag on, and its users are considered testers. Elon warned that getting a wider release of the FSD software in Europe will be contingent "on regulatory approval" still.
It's not clear whether by wider self-driving release Musk means a true official L3 autonomy from point A to point B without any driver input, as some people use FSD now, or just that the software will be made available to any compatible Tesla in the US by year's end with changes in the safety score limitation, or some combination of those.
After all, Tesla recently bumped the FSD Beta pricing by 25% to US$15,000 so a wider release might mean a good chunk of change going its way. Musk has been promising the launch of a true self-driving Tesla for a while, though, almost every year since the software's inception, so we'd have to wait and see if his claim before the Norwegian event's participants materializes in the next few months.
Since he was speaking before an energy forum, Elon Musk was asked how should mankind proceed with the development of its renewable sources given the current gas crisis and he reiterated his opinion that we should keep fossil fuels in the interim.
"Realistically I think we need to use oil and gas in the short term, because otherwise civilisation will crumble," he said while urging Norway to keep drilling for them as a stopgap measure. "One of the biggest challenges the world has ever faced is the transition to sustainable energy and to a sustainable economy. That will take some decades to complete," Musk continued as he is also on record urging Germany to keep its nuclear power plants open.