Elon Musk thinks Tesla could be self-driving in Europe as early as 2022, but he’s wrong

Asked in Germany on the occasion of the inauguration of a Tesla factory, Elon Musk indicated that the FSD (Full Self Driving) could land in Europe at the end of 2022, two years after its introduction in beta in the United States.

Will European owners of a Tesla vehicle be able to enjoy fully autonomous driving from 2022? In any case, this is what Elon Musk gives them hope, questioned on the subject during the inauguration of a Tesla factory in Germany. “I think, probably, we can start offering a beta at the end of the year”said the most famous car boss. If this sentence stands out, his explanation was much more nuanced and, as Elon Musk has been able to prove in the past, he has a very hard time saying no when asked something. Given the legislation and the complexity of European roads, it seems almost impossible to see Tesla launch the European FSD in 2022.

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Tesla interface v11 // Source: Maxime Claudel for Numerama

“In Europe, it’s illegal by default”

In his answer to a question from a Tesla fan, Elon Musk explains that it is not easy to bring autonomous driving to Europe for many reasons, starting with small divergent rules depending on the country. The system, which has been running since autumn 2020 in the United States, cannot simply be sent to the on-board computer of European cars. There would inevitably be significant problems, which Tesla cannot afford.

Then, Elon Musk recalls that autonomous driving is a very complicated subject from a legislative point of view. “In the United States, things are legal by default. In Europe, they are illegal by default” laughs Elon Musk, who cannot hide behind the term “beta” to launch imperfect software in Europe. It is also unlikely that the European authorities (and those of each country) will consider the issue of beta software. Elon Musk indicates that he plans to submit a European version of the FSD in 2-3 months which, for those who have not done LV2 Elon Musk, means that the tests will begin perhaps within 6 months ( we’re kidding, but this option is plausible 😅). The probability of seeing the European authorities give the green light by the end of 2022 seems extremely slim to us.

Elon Musk thinks Tesla could be self-driving in Europe as early as 2022, but he's wrong
The Tesla Model 3 (2022) // Source: Maxime Claudel for Numerama

Improvements planned for 2022

However, there may be some hope for European Tesla fans. Changes to the 1968 Vienna Convention should allow European nations, starting this summer, to adopt more flexible regulations. If it is unlikely to see fully autonomous driving authorized, especially since the authorities tend to want to curb Tesla’s Autopilot, we can hope that this relaxation of the rules will allow Tesla to move forward faster. By then, Elon Musk may tell us that “It will happen in 2-3 months”.

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