Tesla Didn’t Log A Single Self-Driving Test Mile In California In 2017

Tesla Autopilot


Tesla Autopilot

Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Capability is likely years off

While Tesla didn’t log any autonomous test miles in California last year, Waymo, GM/Cruise, and others logged many.

Waymo (formerly the Google self-driving car project) recorded a substantial 352,545 miles, to top all other companies. However, the company’s 2016 total was much higher, at 635,868. This doesn’t mean that Waymo is dialing back its testing, but instead is now doing more in Arizona, with its fleet of Chrysler Pacific Hybrids.

The only other company to accumulate large numbers for testing in California was General Motors’ Cruise Automation. As we’ve regularly reported, the automaker is regularly testing autonomous Chevy Bolts in and around San Francisco. For 2017, GM logged 131,676 miles, which was up just a touch from its 121,900 miles in 2016. The automaker plans to launch of a fleet of fully autonomous Bolts — without steering wheels or pedal — on public roads by 2019.

Self-Driving Model X (Tesla Autopilot)

Tesla Model X With Enhanced Self-Driving Hardware/Software shown to the public

According to The Verge, several other companies, including Drive.ai, Nissan, Zoox, Bosch, Baidu, and Aptiv recorded a handful of miles as well. But Tesla — the automaker that most people associate with self-driving technology — didn’t do any testing on California roads. This is not a huge surprise since Tesla only logged a few hundred miles in 2016.

Tesla is surely testing its vehicles, as well as continually updating its current Autopilot system, via over-the-air software updates. The automaker also runs new technology in “shadow mode” in its entire global fleet, to log billions of miles worth of data. The company also says it’s testing on private property, closed tracks, and public roads outside of California. According to Electrek, Tesla reported:

“Tesla conducts testing to develop autonomous vehicles via simulation, in laboratories, on test tracks, and on public roads in various locations around the world. Additionally, because Tesla is the only participant in the program that has a fleet of hundreds of thousands of customer-owned vehicles that test autonomous technology in “shadow-mode” during their normal operation (these are not autonomous vehicles nor have they been driven in autonomous mode as defined by California law), Tesla is able to use billions of miles of real-world driving data to develop its autonomous technology.”

Tesla was one of the first automakers to receive a permit from the California DMV to test fully autonomous cars on public roads. Most of the miles that the automaker accumulated in 2016 were likely associated with its Full Self-Driving announcement and subsequent test videos, which were shared with the public via social media and the company’s website.

Now, people can pay to add the feature to new Tesla vehicles, however, it’s not currently functional and may not be for some time. Waiting to add the feature after the fact will cost owners more money. All new cars come with the hardware already installed, but the software is still being tested and improved, and federal regulations will also have an impact on the technology’s timeline.

In the meantime, Tesla continues to update its second-generation Autopilot system, which reportedly still has a long way to go, and develop the necessary software for fully autonomous driving.

Source: Automotive News, The Verge, Electrek

Categories: Tesla

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

12 Comments on "Tesla Didn’t Log A Single Self-Driving Test Mile In California In 2017"

newest oldest most voted

“General Motors, in partnership with Cruise Automation” should just read “General Motors’ Cruise Automation”. It’s not a partnership, GM owns the company.

It’s alright, Tesla is running all kinds of simulations that are better than real world tests. Just like how they used computer simulations to skip the beta phase of Model 3 testing. We see Tesla is now benefiting from replacing old school real world testing as Model 3 production has commenced without any hiccups!

Yes, no problem, if someone dies in real world, they update the beta software via OTA! Real world is so old school!

I imagine they stay out of CA due to reporting requirements. You have to report disengagements, which are made public, so you effectively see a measure of how well the software is doing compared to competitors. They would rather avoid that at this stage. I guarantee they aren’t only doing simulations.

In the final 3 months of last year it looks like the Cruise AV had 1 disengagement every ~5500 miles, or similar to Google.

Sorry, no edit, Google’s was about 5500, Cruise AV was about 5200 for the last 3 months. Very similar, GM is catching up quick.

Only another 30,000 miles per disengagement and they’ll have a product.

Yeah, Cruise and Waymo are the only two that I can look at and say “Hey this is going somewhere – and faster than I expected!” But even then I’m only interested in it as a curiosity. I’d like to try out once their ride sharing programs come to my area – but I don’t care about owning a self driving Bolt or Pacifica.

We won’t be adding FSD to our Model 3.

Full self driving is not a priority for me to begin with. And I personally don’t Tesla has made much progress towards it. If their software was comparable or superior to their competitors, they would absolutely be testing and reporting in California.

Now if only the bolt could be tested with something as simple as ACC you would have something to say.

This isn’t that shocking. The fact that Tesla is still taking money from customers under the guise that this feature will ever see the light of day in any of its current lineup is borderline criminal. Musks denial to use Lidar in their systems is going to bite them in the end.

“Criminal” is when GM has a known ignition switch defect and doesn’t recall their cars killing over a hundred customers

“Tesla Didn’t Log A Single Self-Driving Test Mile In California In 2017”

Correction: Tesla didn’t log a single self-driving test mile on public roads in California in 2017.

Kinda reminds me of the public swimming pool in Garden City, Kansas. When I was a kid, the sign at the entrance read “Largest free public swimming pool in the world”. Last time I was there, several few years ago, it read “Largest concrete outdoor municipally owned free public swimming pool in the world.” 😉

Tesla obviously is doing testing on private roads, and in States other than California. If the State of California has restrictions on using such cars on public roads, but other States are less restrictive, then is it any wonder that Tesla has chosen to drive its semi-self-driving test cars elsewhere?

Frankly, I don’t see why this is “news”.