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posted by martyb on Thursday February 08 2018, @08:55PM   Printer-friendly
from the Look-Ma!-No-Hands! dept.

Tesla had aimed to do a cross-country U.S. drive in one of its vehicles using fully autonomous driving capabilities by the end of last year. Obviously it didn't make that goal, or you'd have heard about it. Instead, Tesla CEO Elon Musk now says he anticipates being able to make the trip within three months, or six months at the long end.

Specifically, Musk said on an earnings call in response to a question about the autonomous drive that they'd "probably" be able to "do a coast-to-coast drive in three months, six months at the outside." When asked whether this feature would then be immediately available to customers, he did say that it "will be a feature that's available to customers," without commenting directly on timing of availability.

Musk admitted that he'd "missed the mark on that front," regarding the original autonomous drive demonstration, but he qualified that Tesla "could've done the coast-to-coast drive [last year] but that the company "would've had to do too much custom code, effectively gaming it." It would've resulted in a feature that others could have used in their vehicles as well, but only for that exact cross-country route.

Source: TechCrunch


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  • (Score: 4, Informative) by takyon on Thursday February 08 2018, @09:15PM (2 children)

    by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Thursday February 08 2018, @09:15PM (#635206) Journal

    And as for the next Falcon Heavy, Musk said that a successful test flight of it could mean a commercial flight in... 3 to 6 months [investors.com].

    Falcon Heavy is not a good example though, because SpaceX had a great reason to delay Falcon Heavy: the continual evolution of Falcon 9. Falcon 9 went through several iterations that made it possible to actually land the boosters, as well as carry heavier cargo originally intended to fly on Falcon Heavy. And now that the Falcon Heavy has finally flown, the recovered boosters will not be used because they are from an obsolete version of Falcon 9 (the last major version will be Falcon 9 Block 5 [wikipedia.org]).

    Again: Falcon 9 flew payloads originally intended to fly on Falcon Heavy. So for some customers, there was less of a delay.

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  • (Score: 2) by frojack on Friday February 09 2018, @12:58AM (1 child)

    by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 09 2018, @12:58AM (#635324) Journal

    Falcon 9 flew payloads originally intended to fly on Falcon Heavy.

    Don't see how this is germane.

    It simply means Falcon Heavy will probably carry way more weight than it was designed for initially.
    It has nothing at all to do with missed delivery dates.

    Musk no longer sees Heavy as a manned launch vehicle. I don't know if there is simply no use case, or if he believes its a flying bomb.

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    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09 2018, @01:23AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09 2018, @01:23AM (#635334)

      Falcon 9 flew payloads originally intended to fly on Falcon Heavy.

      Don't see how this is germane.

      If you're stuck on nomenclature then, sure, Falcon Heavy was significantly delayed.
      However, if what one actually cares about is capability (which is what matters to SpaceX's customers), then the promise of what Falcon Heavy would deliver was provided by Falcon 9s, for many customers, way before the first flight of the rocket called "Falcon Heavy".

      It has nothing at all to do with missed delivery dates.

      The "delivery date" of launching a Falcon Heavy was entirely hype and PR. For their paying customers, delivery is measured in mass to orbit.