GettyImages-Elon Musk
Tesla CEO and chief designer of SpaceX Elon Musk in a discussion during the 2014 annual conference of the Export-Import Bank (EXIM) April 25, 2014, in Washington, DC. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

In the matter of perfection in self-driving technology, Tesla’s technology can surpass human drivers and that may happen by end of this year, stated CEO Elon Musk.

Musk told Lex Fridman, an MIT research scientist, in an interview that “I think it may be towards the end of this year, but having a human intervene will decrease safety.”

Musk also expressed pride at the pace with which Tesla's autonomous-driving technology has improved. He described the growth as “exponential rate” and made the claim that Tesla is ahead of other competitors in the autonomous-driving industry.

“I could be wrong, but it appears to be the case that Tesla is vastly ahead of everyone,” Musk said.

The boldness of predictions apart, Musks had made similar claims in the past relating to autonomous-driving technology. One was the February interview with ARK Invest where he said Tesla vehicles will operate without driver intervention by the end of 2019 if the regulatory approval comes through.

But way back in 2015, Musk said Tesla’s fully autonomous driving technology feature will come up in 2017 and he would send a self-driving vehicle across the U.S. Now he is vouching for the same feat until the last leg of 2019, noted the media report.

Tesla's autopilot system is not enough

However, Tesla's Autopilot system is considered a pioneer by many in semi-autonomous driving technology. The autopilot is capable of steering, control, acceleration, and braking under driver supervision.

Tesla Autopilot earned the highest rating for capability, performance, and ease-of-use compared to other driver-assistance systems, per Consumer Reports 2018.

However, there are many experts who also doubt the viability of upgrading semi-autonomous technology into a fully-autonomous system and how far that conversion will deliver.

Research firm Navigant Research ranked Tesla at 19th among 20 companies in self-driving technology in strategy and execution. It was a message that it has miles to go in that direction.

How different is Tesla’s FSD?

However, a company blog said, Tesla CEO’s claim of major strides in full self-driving (FSD) technology and driver input becoming detrimental to vehicle safety has been a well thought out statement.

It said Musk’s statements are high in optimism because industry leaders such as Waymo are yet to attain autonomous driving despite working on the technology for long.

Google’s subsidiary Waymo has been ahead of the pack in autonomous technology, but its full-self driving capability is still confined to geofenced areas. Same seems to be the case with GM Cruise.

Unlike Waymo and GM Cruise, it said, Tesla strategy seeks to tap artificial intelligence and camera inputs. It is similar to the way humans and animals navigate using eyes, according to Musk's concept.

The blog affirms that Tesla’s Autonomy Investor Day on April 22 will showcase the full boutique of its advancements in autonomous driving technology.