[0:18] Musk: So, An exciting announcement, which is the release of Autopilot. It's Autopilot version 1. We still think of it as a public beta, so we want people to be quite careful at first with their use of Autopilot. What I'm going to take you through is how the system learns over time. The thing that's quite interesting and unique is that we're employing a deep learning technology. Essentially, the network of vehicles is going to be constantly learning, and as we release the software and more people enable Autopilot, the information about how to drive is uploaded to the network. So each driver is effectively an expert trainer in how the Autopilot should work.
[1:17] I'll take you though a bit of how that works. It's a combination of a variety of systems, and this really can only be done as a connected vehicle. The interesting things is that, every Tesla build from September of last year, overnight will have this ability. I think that's quite unique, that we can upload a substantial new capability just with software overnight. Basically every car that has the sensors will have this ability, and the sensors were put in the car about a year ago.
[1:57] The capability will continue to improve over time, both from the standpoint of all the expert drivers doing approximately a million miles a day of travel and training, but also in terms of the software functionality.
[2:16] This version of Autopilot for example does not take into account stop signs and red lights, but a future software update will, is one example. And it will get more and more refined over time.
[2:38] And then, there's a feature that I've been promising for a while which will be in 7.1, which is to automatically have the car put itself to bed in the garage. So you can just tap your phone, and have the car just put itself into the garage for you, and of course also summon the car back. That will be in 7.1. So there will be a lot of capability over time, as well as general refinement.
[3:07] So you have the car on the road. How does it figure out what to do? There's four major sensor systems. We've got the ultrasonic sensors, so essentially ultrasonic sonar, which tells us where everything is within about 5.2 meter, or roughly 16 feet, 16-17 feet, so around the perimeter of the car we know where there are obstacles.
[3:39]That's then combined with the forward-facing camera with image recognition. The forward-facing camera is able to determine where the lanes are, where cars are ahead of it, and it's also able to read signs. It's been able to read speed signs for a while, for example, but it's able to read pretty much any sign.
[4:02] Then that's combined with the forward radar. The radar is very good at detecting fast moving large objects. And it can actually see through fog, rain, snow, and dust. So the forward radar gives the car superhuman senses. It can thing through that a person could not.
[4:29] And then the final sensor is the GPS with high precision digital maps. The high precision digital maps are important because normal maps have a quite low precision. All that's needed is to know where the street is, but the actual curvature of the road, how many lanes there are, how you merge from one lane to the next, this is not present in any data set in the world. But we're creating that data set at Tesla.
[5:03] So then these all combine, so we can use camera, radar, ultrasonics, GPS, and high precision maps, to guide the car in its journey.
[5:18] Because, people who have had a chance to take the test drive? So you may have seen where the Autosteer is using different visual cues, or visual road cues, to decide where to drive. It'll take the left lane, right lane, or both, it will determine whether it should follow vehicles, whether it should do holistic path prediction, or whether it should use the navigation database, depending upon where it is. So it's constantly looking up where it is in the world and depending up on its specific location it'll know whether to use the left lane marking, the right lane marking, follow vehicles, to use holistic path prediction or to go purely on navigation, on GPS. And this really depends on where it is in the world.
[6:17] I don't know if you've went gone down the 280 for example, but on the rightmost lane on the 280, you'll see the car actually periodically red out the right lane, because it knows that it should not take an turn-off. It needs to stay in its lane on not turn off. You'll see it, at one point southbound on the 280, the rightmost lane takes an abrupt shift to the left. It just steps to the left arbitrarily. The car does not change its position in the lane, because it knows to ignore that sudden step change in the rightmost lane.
[6:55] This is an example of one of the hardest problems that we had to solve. Like, where does it get super hard? This is the 405 south, just before you get to LAX. You can see how hard it is. This is actually camera footage we took this morning. Like, it's quite hard as a person to say where the lane is! So we really need better lane marking in California. This is crazy... If you were in Germany or Japan or China this would be great. Like, it would be easy! You can actually see clear lane markings. But if you have that... I mean, this is the lane, which are like little bit of... I-don't-know-what... marking out the lane.
[7:37] And what becomes really problematic in a situation like this is that you've got where the current lane is and where the old marking used to be, and they're diverging from where the current lane markings are. So a problem we encountered which was quite vexing to solve was that the vision system could not figure out which was the actual real lane. And normally you can exclude strange pigments on the road, like skid marks or whatever, because they're not where the lane is. But in this case you have the true lane position, and the sort of fake lane position, and they're diverging! So the camera system would then follow the diverging system and go into the wrong lane.
[8:30] So in order to solve this, at this point the car knows that it actually needs to go on navigation GPS. So it will go where its lateral position will be guided by the GPS for its lane position, and ignore visual.
[8:48] A funny anecdote that we had was, when we did this we realized, 'ok, we're going to have times where the system will automatically revert to navigat[ing] on GPS, where the visual cues are actually misleading.' So we had one of our drivers in a car actually drive this exact section, to precisely map out the lane. We needed to be sure where the lane would be. Then we implemented the system. And yet, once again, the car would change lanes when it shouldn't change lanes! This was because the human driver (who was a trained driver) actually made the lane change wrong! So it was quite perplexing for a while, like, 'why is it going on GPS and making the wrong move?' It's because the reference driver actually made the wrong move! So we corrected that, and now you can actually do this in any of the lanes and it will hold position correctly. It will actually do better than a person.
[9:54] This is to give you a sense of what the level of precision that the Tesla fleet is aiming for in terms of knowing where roads are, where parking lots are. This is all just in a statistical database, there's no user attribution. We don't know who it was, or when it was. We know that this is where a road exists. This is where cars have gone, statistically speaking. So you can see that the Tesla user fleet has basically mapped out the entire Bay Area in this map, all the way down to parking lots! You can actually see where in the parking lot people were, and what constitutes a real parking lot versus not.
[10:41] This is a normal navigation map, which is fine for general directions. But it's not great for figuring out where the car can actually go. Whereas this is high-precision maps. You can see that each lane is mapped out, and you know exactly what the transitions are. And you know that, for example, here you don't make an abrupt 90 degree left turn, you actually make a curve.
[11:16] And you can see like, little places like here, if you were to follow the GPS you would clip the curb. And actually what you want to do is a curve like that.
[11:31] So that's the basic presentation. I think this is going to be quite a profound experience for people when they do it. We've been testing it for over a year, so we get quite used to it. But I notice when I put my friends in the car, and they see it drive itself, they're blown away. It's really quite an interesting new experience. I think it's going to change people's perception of the future quite rapidly. "It's a world-changing experience."
[12:20] Q: Nick James with Mashable. I was thinking about the side collision monitoring/warning system. And it said in the little packet that even if it is disabled in the menu, that even if it detects an obstacle it will move (within your lane) around the obstacle. What is the purpose of having it still active, even if the owner has 'deactivated' it?
[12:57] Musk: Yeah, there's two elements there. One is that when Autopilot is activated, it is using the ultrasonic sensors to see if it's impinging on a vehicle nearby. So like, let's say there's a large truck, like an oversized truck, next to you on the freeway. You don't want to be in the middle of your lane. You want to be offset to one side of the lane. That's active obviously when Autosteer is active. However we also have Side Collision Avoidance, which is active all the time. You can turn it off, so this is not something you can't turn off, but it's separately turned off. It's like Automatic Emergency Braking, essentially. The Side Collision Avoidance, what it will do is it will resist movement if you attempt to turn into another vehicle, or into, let's say, a highway barrier without realizing it. The car- you'll feel increased resistance in the steering wheel. So you feel like, 'there's something un-natural here that's like... [resisting]'. You can overcome it if you want to, but it's gonna tell you that you probably shouldn't move sideways, because you can sense that it's like harder on the steering wheel to move to one side or the other. It's a sort of general safety system like Automatic Emergency Braking. That's also being released in version 7.
[14:10] Q: [unintelligible] Two questions for you. In the last few months [unintelligible] and in this rollout, you're making a point about what you can do with the software [unintelligible] so I guess my first question is, what are you telling us that we should expect as consumers from automakers of our cars in terms of [unintelligible]. And then separately, [unintelligible] there is a debate about whether software in our vehicles should be [unintelligible] copyright [unintelligible].
[14:59] Musk: Um, sure. So, I think really I want sure they think of their cars as connected devices. That's really the way a car should operate. Much in the way your laptop or your cell phone operates. So that we can do improvements over-the-air. So instead of having to recall... You issue a recall and you don't always get all the cars coming in, for various reasons. People lose touch with their dealer, and then they have unsafe software in their car but not know it because they didn't get the recall notice or weren't aware of it. It is important for safety and for improved functionality that carmakers in general go to a connected philosophy. And that I think also just what consumers expect. It's rather odd to have a device that's not connected.
And with respect to software... I dunno. I think there's pros and cons to having software all out there. It is hard to say how software will work if it's not actually in the target hardware. [unintelligible] It's hard to say if it's going to work unless you've got the [unintelligible] hardware. So I'm not sure if there's that much value to open sourcing the software. But I would be concerned about people potentially exploiting issues... But I think what really matters is our company's testing, thoroughly testing for example. Testing the software making sure that it's good. That's the most important thing, is just test, test, and you really need to see the hardware-software interactions to know if it's good.
[17:01] Q: [Alexandria] Sage from Rueters. Can you talk about... it states very clearly that this is hands-on, even though we know that you can have your hands off. Can you talk about the regulatory hurtles that you anticipate, so that you can tell your customers, 'please take your hands off', and what you anticipate, and how that's gonna work?
[17:22] Musk: Yeah. We're being especially cautious at this early stage. So we're advising drivers to keep their hands on the wheel just in case, because the software is still at an early stage. So it's important that people exerciser caution in the beginning. Over time, there will not be a need to have your hands on the wheel in the long term, but in the short term I think it's very important that people exercise caution, because the software is very new. And so we actually explicitly describe it as Beta in [the UI], even though people can access it. We describe it as Beta, and we say people [unintelligible] because it's just important to exercise great caution at this early stage. Certainly in the long term people will not need hands on the wheel, and eventually there won't be wheels! There won't be wheels or pedals, it will just be... you jump in a car and go somewhere. You tell the car your destination and it will take you there. But in order for that to occur you need to have... it needs to be fail-operational. So if any one system in the car fails for any reason, the car does not crash. So that's still some ways away.
Well, I think the regulators need to see clear evidence that the reliability is there. That the reliability in a hands-off situation is not worse than with hands-on. So that's... I think there's time and a lot of information is needed in order to make that case. I wouldn't... I don't think we should try to make that case now, because the data is not there.
[19:15] Q: Hi, Dana Hull from Bloomberg. You talked a little bit about the early access program, and the kind of feedback that you got from the customers that have already been testing this. I guess they've had it for maybe a month or so. What was the biggest feedback that you got, and how did that help you redefine and make the software better?
[19:33] Musk: We've actually been getting a lot of feedback for quite a while. We had the Early Access Program customers actually had the program for in some cases several months, and in most cases at least three[?] months. And their feedback has helped us make it better, keep making it better. And generally the response has been that they really love it. They think it's quite profound. We have anecdotes of customers that have actually cancelled their vacations because there was a new update on the software! So they really really liked it.
But I think the feedback has resolved the fairly obvious stuff. I mean, it's necessary but obvious. Like the car didn't make a [unintelligible] in this particular location. So what do we do about that. And a lot of it is essentially automatic. So without people actually having to send us the notes, we can see that there was [an icy patch?]. So when we look at say a map, we can see whether drivers are steering with manual control, and if we see that a lot of drivers are taking manual control at the same point, then we know that there's something wrong with the software at that point. Otherwise if it's just randomly distributed, it just means that somebody decided to go from automatic to manual and back. But if it's always at the same place on a highway, we know that there's some issue that needs to be looked in to.
So that sort of automated reporting has been most helpful for improving the system. We can see that it's always at this particular juncture that the car does something wrong and people take manual control, then we need to look at that location, see what the issue is, and fix the software.
Yeah, it's been tested in I think most of the markets that Tesla is upgrading in. It does take quite a while to... it does tend to work better in places where there are markings in the road. Like it works really well in Germany, for example.
Yes, it works best where the infrastructure is good. And in order for it to work really well you want clear markings on the road, or you want to be in quite dense traffic. Those are the two places where it works really well. It's a real boon in a high traffic situations. So if you're in slow moving gridlock traffic, turn on Autopilot and it works super well. Almost to the point where you can take your hands off. I won't say you can take your hands off, but almost. Almost. Some people may! [unintelligible]
[22:40] Q: Hi, Greg Kumparak with TechCrunch. So with Tesla and a couple other teams which are independently working on this problem, so you guys have to worry about logical conflicts within these independent code-bases? Just the cars not really knowing how to react to each-other or [unintelligible] when driving?
[22:58] Musk: Well, the density of cars that have Autopilot is pretty low. So I think it'll be a while before we should worry too much about it. I mean, we try to make the car behave as though it's a really good chauffeur. Like, a really good driver, not too conservative, not too aggressive. When the cars interact with each-other, I would think they would actually, it would just be as though the car is interacting with a good human driver. So we don't really see any issues with the code interaction. [unintelligible]
[23:47] Q: Hey Elon, Mark [unintelligible] with USA Today. Similar question. We've got Audi working on their Pilot Assist pretty aggressively. BMW at CES this year showed us their self valeting car. How important is it to you personally, and to Tesla, to be first on these things?
[24:14] Musk: Well in general at Tesla we try to pioneer new technology. I think there's -- the two biggest, the two most profound innovations in automotive, since the moving production line, are electrification and autonomy. So it makes sense to try to pioneer things in those two arenas. Those things really make a difference to the world in a big way, collectively. I think we should do them.
But we don't want to be first for the sake of being first, we just want to make an amazing vehicle. Like, the best possible car that can be made. That's really [unintelligible]. And we've gotten some pretty good accolades in this regard, Consumer Reports had to adjust their rating system, there was [unintelligible].
[25:18] Q: David Berkowitz, The Chronicle. I wanted to follow up on a question that the reporting from Reuters was asking. So far, there's been sort of perceived difference of philosophies of different autonomous car programs. Whether you want to push toward a future where you don't have the steering wheel, you don't have pedals. Or whether you want to continue, where you still have cars that you can drive on these great roads that we've got, or difficult roads.
[25:46]Q: Do you want a future where you just get in a little pod and it just takes you wherever and you don't worry about it, or do you want a future where people will drive their car down the road [unintelligible]?
[25:57] Musk: I think you'll probably want to have a steering wheel and pedals, and be able to take control of the car when you want to take control. I don't super love the idea of having a bland little pod that you get in and go from one place to another in a very... sort of, conservative driving manner or something like that. It sounds boring. But it might be something like in I Robot, where the car has an autonomous mode, but you can switch to manual when you want to. And the steering wheel comes out of the dash, looks kinda cool. That looked cool! Yeah, like the snake charging... Yeah, so I think autonomy default with optional manual is probably the good way to go.
[27:18] Q: This is Chuck Tanner with Yahoo! Autos. I'm wondering how do you perceive the Autopilot as differing from similar technology from say Audi or Mercedes, such as the Adaptive Cruise Control, Stop and Go, and their lane keeping technology as well.
[27:37] Musk: I think the big differentiator here is that the whole Tesla fleet operates as a network. When one car learns something, the whole fleet learns it. And in order to have that, all cars need to be connected. They need to be uploading data to a central server where it can be collected, do statistical analysis on it, and then feed that back into the driving algorithm on the cars. So that's I would say like a next-level [technology], and certainly far beyond what any other car company is doing. I'm not sure they even are thinking about it. I've never heard them mention it, let me put it that way.
So being able to do fleet learning, I think this is quite a powerful network effect. And any car company that doesn't do this will not be able to have a good autonamous driving system.
[28:37] Q: Hi, Katie Fehrenbacher, Fortune. Are you talking about machine learning? Can we talk about that?
[28:44] Musk: It is kinda machine learning, with the drivers of the car essentially providing the dataset. They're training a collective fleet intelligence of all Tesla [cars].
[29:03] Q: Will it be an automatic learning system?
[29:06] Musk: It is an automatic learning system! [laughs]
[29:09] Q: I have another question too...
[29:11] Musk: Lemme... yeah, the obvious question is, 'if I'm so afraid of AI, why am I doing this?' [laughs]
[29:19] Q: And?
[29:23] Musk: I don't think we have anything to worry about from cars driving themselves. That's not... they're not going to take over the world. The concern would be more like a Deep AI, and potentially one that's... Some sort of AI that either due to itself or people driving it in that direction, that tries to drive civilization in a direction that's not good. I dunno. I just think we need to be cautious about it, that's my general comment on AI. We shouldn't be going willy nilly in that direction thinking it's always going to be good.
[30:05] Q: Ok. Well my follow-up was actually about the mapping system. The data available in Google Maps or here maps, or apple maps, that's not good enough data for the Autopilot driving system currently, do you plan to do this combination of personal drivers driving around, employees driving and gain that data, plus the Tesla fleet. Are you going to be doing that for the world when you get all this data for the high precision maps that you want?
[30:40] Musk: The data's really going to come primarily from the Tesla fleet. So we've got cars that are doing on average a million miles a day, of which two thirds have the autonomy capability. But all one and a half million are all connected, and can provide high precision information about routes. We certainly would be open to selling that to other car companies or other organizations if they want to buy it. It's really the fleet collectively that is producing this dataset. And we're using that to provide high precision GPS navigation.
But you do need an additional overlay on that to understand turn restrictions. To a certain degree, because you could certainly say, 'if the number of cars that turn left on an intersection is .5 percent of the time, then it's probably that they're just doing an illegal left.' So then we should ignore that. You'll see statistically if a turn is allowed or not allowed.
You can also say that the true speed on these roads is this speed. And then you know how fast to go around a bend, or what's really safe. So if the average driver goes this speed in this lane and when doing this turn. That level of detail and information, which is like, 'how would an expert driver drive this route?' is really what we're talking about. It's really an order of magnitude more detail than current navigation maps. It might be in terms of data volume maybe 100 times the data complexity of current navigation maps. Maybe more.
[33:00] Q: Nikki at Transport Evolved. Good afternoon Elon. I've got two questions this evening that I'd like to pose to you. The first one regarding GPS and data access. I know that if you're in the Bay Area we have a lot of great cell phone connectivity, but in certain part of the world that is going to be a big issue, and connectivity will be lost. How will the cars automatically switch between the modes? That's my first part. And the second part is, Google, Audi, all these other companies who have worked on autonomous driving to this point, some of them have posted massive bonds to be able to test some kind of autonomous or Autopilot feature on the road. Has Tesla had to put anything like that into provision, if there's any accidents in the future?
[33:50] Musk: As far as gathering navigation data when there's no cell connectivity, the car can just buffer the data, and then upload the data once it gets to a place where there is cell connectivity or a WiFi connection. So there's no problem collecting data even when there's no cell phone connectivity. And of course the GPS satellites you can see all the time. Anywhere on Earth you can see the GPS satellites. Whether or not you have connectivity in that area, you can still drive on GPS functionality.
With respect to posting big bonds, I'm not aware of that. I'm not sure what they're doing exactly in that front. I think the logical thing is that if there are fewer accidents in autonomous mode than in non-autonomous mode, there shouldn't be some penalty. That wouldn't make any sense. You'd be penalizing a safer situation.
[35:08] Q: Mike Ramsey from Wall Street Journal. I'm curious about two things. One, after the update is uploaded and improvements are made, are those done in a constant stream, like on a daily basis, or would you wait for a 7.1 or something like that? And the second question is, as you move past this level of autonomy to something greater, would you need to add more sensors like a LIDAR? Or do you think that it will be possible to go to a greater level of autonomy with the sensor set that you have now?
[35:53] Musk: Yeah. I think we can go to... we can improve the level of autonomy with the sensors that we have right now, but it is limited to what logically can be done with that sensor set. So imagine if you have a remote control car, and you have access to this set of data, which is a forward facing sensor, forward radar, 360 degree ultrasonics. If you can see that data remotely, and you're a really good driver with the remote control car app, how well could you drive the car? That essentially sets the limit on what the sensors can do. There's certainly more that can be done, but the sensor suite is not the full autonomy suite. For full autonomy, you would obviously need 360 degree cameras, you'd need probably redundant forward cameras, you'd need redundant computing hardware, and redundant motors and steering rack. I think you really want for full autonomy a more comprehensive sensor suite, and control systems and computing systems that are fail-operational.
That said, I don't think you need LIDAR. I think you can do this all with passive optical, and then with maybe one forward radar, maybe if you're driving fast into rain or snow or dust. I think that completely solves it without the use of LIDAR. I'm not a big fan of LIDAR. I don't think it makes sense in this context. We do use LIDAR for our Dragon spacecraft for docking with the space station. And I think it makes sense in that [context]. We put a lot of emphasis in developing that. So it's not as though I don't like LIDAR in general, it's just that I don't think it makes sense in a car context. I think it's unnecessary.
People should see the car actually improve probably with each passing week. So even without a new software update, because the data is continually improving, and because the more miles that are driven the better the network intelligence of the fleet is trained, the better it will get. So it should actually get better with each passing day, but you'll probably notice it maybe after a week or a few weeks. You'll see that previously the car wouldn't have steered quite right, let's say going past a freeway offramp one week, but then the following week it does.
[38:58] Q: Daniel Spartz, [unintelligible]. Is there any consideration for offering a retrofit option of Autopilot hardware to early Model S owners at some point?
[39:09] Musk: The  thing with the retrofit is, it would require changing a lot of systems on the car and a new wiring harness. It's not as though we wouldn't. If we thought there was some reasonable way to offer a retrofit we would do so, but to be able to add a radar system and a camera system and some additional computing hardware, and the 360 degree ultrasonics. This would be a huge effort to do at the Service Center. You'd have to replace the front bumper, the windscreen, take the whole car apart to remove the wiring harness. So it's technically possible, but there's no way it would make any financial sense.
[39:57] Q: Bob from Road and Track Magazine. Hi, I was just wondering, how weatherproof is the lane sensing feature? Like can it see the lane lines through rain or snow? What are the limitations there?
[40:14] Musk: if there's heavy snow it's going to be harder for the system to work. So it's going to advise caution in heavy precipitation. Essentially it's like a person, to some degree. How well can a person figure out what route they can take? In the beginning it's going to be not as good as a person in some ways, better in some ways. Over time it will actually be better than a person. I mean long term it'll be way better than a person. Because imagine a system that has 8 cameras, and radar, and ultrasonics, and it's processing all that at the millisecond level, and never gets tired, and it's never had anything to drink. It's not arguing with someone in the car (hopefully!) so it's not distracted, and it's has this huge dataset. There's just no way that... that would be like competing with eight human experts simultaneously. There's just no way one person is going to be better than [that]. You just don't have eyes in the back of your heard! It will obviously be way better than the person long term.
[41:50] Q: [unintelligible] How does it handle pedestrians [unintelligible]?
[41:55] Musk: Sure. It should not hit pedestrians, hopefully. It does sense pedestrians, it can see pedestrians. It can see cyclists. So it should avoid them. It should actually brake before hitting them. It should handle them well, hopefully. Exercise caution at this early stage!
[41:32] Q: The pedestrians [unintelligible]
[41:35] Musk: Are you talking about the car today, or the car in the future? There's a difference between the car today and the car in the future. Big differences.
[41:42] Q: Meaning today.
[41:45] Musk: That's why in the beginning we really recommend, in fact the instructions say you need to pay attention to what's on the road, and you need to be ready to take the wheel at any time. So I certainly wouldn't want to say that today. 'Don't worry about it.' In the long term it will be safer than a person driving, for all pedestrians as well as people in the car and other cars.
[43:17] Q: Ada [unintelligible] with Driscol questions. When will the update be available to the cars? When is 7.1 coming? And what about the Model X?
[43:27] Musk: Well we're not going to do Model X questions today. Or do you mean when will it work on the Model X? We expect to begin uploading the software tonight to customers, so sometime late tonight it will begin uploading, and people should begin to be able to install it tomorrow. It'll probably take a few days to send it out to the whole fleet, but it'll start sometime tonight.
And that's for North America. For Europe and Asia, it's about a week out because we're just waiting for final regulatory approval. We're hopeful that we will receive regulatory approval for Europe and Asia sometime next week.
Well actually all cars will receive version 7. And roughly 60% of those cars... there's roughly 60,000 cars that have autonomous capability. But all cars will receive version 7. It's just that [unintelligible] Autosteer [unintelligible].
[44:47] Q: Hi, Reuters. This could possible be a pretty expensive addon, and since the future is looking like you will make some sort of inexpensive mass market car. Do you see this as being something that is standard on all Teslas going forward, or an option to remove in order to have have a mass market car in the future?
[45:05] Musk: The way we make the cars right now is that the hardware is standard on all cars, and then you pay to have the Autopilot convenience features. The safety features are standard on all cars, so they'd be Active Emergency Braking, Side Collision Avoidance, Lane Departure Warning, basically all the safety features are standard on all cars, and then the convenience features you pay $2500 to enable. So essentially we actually take a slight loss on people that don't pay for the convenience features, and then we make a gain on those that do. So hopefully that works out. But I think in the long term we would have the hardware for autonomy on all cars. Yeah. There would just be the charge for the convenience.
[46:10] Q: Question from Jonathan at Ars Technica. Coming back to the future of autonomous cars, when do you think Tesla might be ready to start selling cars that are autonomous to level four?
[46:25] Musk: I think from a technology standpoint -- and it is important to distinguish these things, because they are very different -- technologically I think Tesla will have a car that can do full autonomy in about three years. Maybe a bit sooner, but I'm trying to recalibrate my time predictions. I'm quite confident that we'll do it in three years. The car will be able to take you from point to point, like from your driveway to work, without you touching anything. You could be asleep the whole time, and do so very safely.
However from that point, to ger regulatory approval for full autonomy is something that's going to vary by jurisdiction. So depending on where you are in the world and how the legal framework works, what the regulations are, that could be anywhere from another year to maybe several years. And I think the thing that would obviously be convincing to a regulator is to see lots of data about how autonomy has worked. Is it safer, or less safe, than a human driven car? And at the point at which the data says statistically that it's much safer to have autonomous cars, that's the point at which regulators will obviously be comfortable allowing full autonomy.
[48:03] Q: Dianne Durban at the Associated Press. Hi, thanks for taking the question. Can you just clarify, I think you spoke about it earlier but I can't hear very well, but is the Model X going to get this capability? And also, if your car is automatically changing lanes, and it gets in an accident, who is liable?
[48:27] Musk: Yeah, so the Model X will of course have the same Autopilot capability as the S. They will have identical capability. And if there's an accident, the driver of the car is liable. We're very clearly saying that this is not a case of abdicating responsibility. The hardware and the software are not yet at the point where a driver can abdicate responsibility. That will come at some point in the future, but it is not the case today. These are still the early days.
[49:05] Q: Can you talk a little bit about how many people are actively working on Autopilot within Tesla? In terms of headcount, you guys are north of 13,000 employees, right?
[49:15] Musk: Yeah, 14,000.
[49:17] Q: So what's the size of the unit? And I'm sure it's interdisciplinary, so I don't even know if calling it a unit is fair.
[49:25] Musk: It's actually not a huge team doing Autopilot. In terms of people just working on Autopilot software, it's maybe 50 people? In terms of those working on the Autopilot hardware suite, it's maybe a little bigger. Maybe 100 people, something like that? It will increase over time, but generally with software you can get amazing thing done with small teams. And a small team will do much more radical improvements than a big team.
[50:09] Q: This is a very nuts and bolts one. Not sure if I understood you earlier when people get this? They get it into their cars tomorrow? Do they have to pay to actually use the Autopilot feature, is it a one time purchase?
[50:24] Musk: Yeah, so it actually depends. People would have done this when they bought the car. They can also do it after they own the car as well, so it's just basically $2500 to activate the autonomous features forever. It's a one time charge, and then the autonomous features are [available]. As I said, the safety features are automatically enabled on all cars. So even if somebody hasn't done that, they'll still get, for example, Side Collision Avoidance as part of the version 7 as well.
Alright, thanks everyone!