Tesla owner Ryan Shaw takes us for a long ride in his Modely Y in heavy Los Angeles traffic. His goal is to give us an idea of how well Navigate on Autopilot, which is part of Tesla's Full Self-Driving package, handles rush hour. It's up against badly designed freeways, difficult interchanges, and merging.
Tesla has made amazing strides with its Autopilot driver-assist technology. This is due in part to the fact that it is being constantly tested in the automaker's global fleet of vehicles and then updated accordingly via over-the-air software updates. With that said, the Full Self-Driving capability CEO Elon Musk has been touting for years – was supposed to be showcased long ago – is still not ready.
We're not complaining, however. Musk is optimistic, but hopefully not so much so that it puts many people's lives at risk. If Full Self-Driving is more complicated than expected and taking longer than Musk hoped, we encourage him to take his time. That's not to say Tesla should stop pushing forward, but it definitely shouldn't release something that's not capable.
Nonetheless, Musk recently said Tesla is "very close" to Level 5 autonomy. In fact, he says his own car can get him to and from work every day with little intervention. Keep in mind, the Model Y you see in the video is almost certainly not updated with all the Full Self-Driving features Musk is testing in his car. Perhaps FSD really is almost ready but the remaining features just haven't been released to the public? We really have no way of knowing.
What we do know is Navigate on Autopilot can handle some pretty difficult situations. At times, it's surprising how well it works. However, at other times, it's surprising how badly it fails. Consistency is key here. In order for the technology to be launched and trusted, it has to work perfectly all the time.
Check out the video and let us know what you think. Is Autopilot's performance good enough? Does it have a long way to go? What are your personal experiences?