We will say up front that this is certainly not a "race" in the typical sense of the word. However, the video above does determine whether a Tesla with the Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta package can beat a GM Cruise robotaxi from one destination to another. It's not about driving quickly, but rather, following the rules of the road and making safe but confident decisions.
Many automakers and related companies are working on semi-autonomous and fully autonomous vehicle software. However, Tesla's Full Self-Driving Beta package is arguably the most talked about. More and more people are probably also familiar with GM's Cruise driverless robotaxi.
While Tesla's beta software is still in a limited rollout and requires a driver in the driver's seat responsible for the vehicle, GM's Cruise robotaxi is already offering rides in San Francisco, California, with no safety driver present.
We've heard many times that Tesla's Full Self-Driving software has never been involved in a crash or caused a death or injury. We've also heard that there have been several minor situations. After all these months of testing, and now over 100,000 cars with the software active, there have almost certainly been some incidents. In fact, we've seen videos of a few minor fender benders, which seem to have often been with construction cones or various obstacles. However, we still haven't received any official verification of a notable crash that has involved multiple vehicles and injuries.
With that said, it wouldn't really be fair to credit Tesla's software for the lack of major incidents. It could be the reason there are few notable issues, but there's also a driver behind the wheel of all of these Tesla vehicles. An owner who's "hopefully" doing everything they can to help avoid an incident. Most Tesla owners may not want to smash their car, hurt themself, or be responsible for damage to another car or property, not to mention injuring or killing someone, though there are all sorts of people in the world.
Meanwhile, the GM Cruise robotaxi has been transporting people around San Francisco with no driver, and in many cases, the rides have proven successful. However, since there's no driver present, if there is some sort of potential incident, there's no one to help avoid it. Needless to say, there have been a few Cruise crashes, and multiple people have been injured.
Now that you have a little background, let's get back into the race. Whole Mars Catalog put together the video above, which shows him driving his Tesla with FSD Beta while a GM Cruise car heads to the same destination at the same time, at night. The two cars start at the same location, though they don't necessarily have to follow the same route. The tech in these vehicles is supposed to be able to choose the best route.
While both cars completed the trip free of issues or concerns, the Tesla pulled it off in about 14 minutes and the Cruise did it in over 22 minutes. As you'll see in the video, the Tesla appears to be more aggressive and quick with decisions. On the other hand, the Cruise driverless car is quite cautious, which may be a good thing. Let us know what you think in the comment section below.