Musk said the company delayed the demo because the code was not ready to roll out to all Tesla vehicles
Tesla will drive one of its vehicles across the US in autonomous mode sometime during the first half of 2018, CEO Elon Musk said during the company's fourth-quarter earnings call on Wednesday.
Musk had originally aimed to do the road trip during 2017, but he hinted during a second-quarter earnings call last year that the event would be delayed.
Tesla began rolling out its new Autopilot hardware in all cars in October 2016. Musk has said that the new hardware will be able to support full self-driving capabilities once the software is ready. But even then, a rollout will depend on whether or not regulations are in place for autonomous vehicles.
During the call on Wednesday, Musk said that the reason the company has delayed the drive from Los Angeles to New York is because the code isn't quite ready to roll out to all Tesla vehicles. But Musk said that the technology is well on its way.
"The upcoming autonomous coast-to-coast drive will showcase a major leap forward for our self-driving technology. Additionally, an extensive overhaul of the underlying architecture of our software has now been completed, which has enabled a step-change improvement in the collection and analysis of data and fundamentally enhanced its machine-learning capabilities," Musk stated in the fourth quarter earnings letter.
Because all of Tesla's cars are equipped with the software and hardware necessary to collect data that can be used to improve its ML system, the electric-car company could have a huge edge against other automakers and tech companies working on autonomous vehicles.
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