TechSpot means tech analysis and advice you can trust. Read our ethics statement.
In brief: It's incredible just how far self-driving technology has come in the last decade. To give you an idea of what today's vehicles can do, watch the video above of a Tesla Model 3 equipped with the company's Full Self-Driving (FSD) feature complete a trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles with almost no intervention from the human behind the wheel.
Tesla enthusiast Whole Mars Catalog (WMC) posted a time-lapse clip of the 380-mile journey compressed into 15 minutes.
The only apparent intervention came when the car crossed into LA and a piece of debris "popped up suddenly after a car moved out of the way." WMC wrote that "I couldn't wait to see if FSD would avoid it and had to make sure to move over myself." Additionally, the battery wasn't fully charged, so there were two charging stops during the trip.
There was also a moment where the car exhibited some unusual behavior around San Francisco's Market Street when it moved into an adjacent lane. WMC writes that while most people would have taken manual control at this point, they watched closely for any danger but never intervened.
Price change is pushed to Thursday next week. Applies only to US for now. One week clock will start in other countries as beta is released. FSD monthly rental will also be available sometime next year.--- Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 22, 2020
Offering more features and autonomy compared to Autopilot, Tesla's limited FSD beta started rolling out in October. It can change lanes, park, and drive itself to owners in certain areas. Elon Musk says, based on his own experience, that FSD is able to navigate complicated series of intersections and narrow roads.
The scenario of a world filled with cars driving themselves as we sit in the passenger seats watching TV is still a long way off, but being able to drive hundreds of miles between cities is a major step toward a self-driving future.