Musk Plans To Crack Tesla’s “Level 5 Autonomous Driving”

Updated on

Whitney Tilson’s email to investors discussing Musk promises that Tesla will have “the basic functionality for level 5 autonomous driving complete this year;” Is Telsa “the undisputed leader in EVs and Auto 2.0”?; Elon Musk ends up making over $50 million from his SEC settlement.

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Welcome to the many new folks to my Tesla email list!

I don’t have a position in the stock, but regularly send out articles of interest related to it.

Tesla's "Level 5 Autonomous Driving" To be Completed This Year: Musk

1) Musk is making some bold claims that Tesla will have “the basic functionality for level 5 autonomy complete this year.”  At least he’s leaving himself some wiggle room – what does “basic functionality” mean??? The definition of Level 5 is very clear:

Level 5 vehicles do not require human attention―the “dynamic driving task” is eliminated. Level 5 cars won’t even have steering wheels or acceleration/braking pedals. They will be free from geofencing, able to go anywhere and do anything that an experienced human driver can do.

My view is that autonomous driving will become widespread (though likely only in certain areas/routes – for example, from an airport to dozens of hotels) sooner than most people expect – but not nearly as soon as Musk is promising…


Many Tesla vehicles come so-called autopilot features, which amount to very advanced cruise control. Enhanced autopilot is available as an upgrade. Tesla’s autopilot still requires drivers to pay attention. Level 5 autonomy would represent a huge leap for the entire industry.


After sharing his insights on artificial intelligence (AI), Musk said Tesla Gigafactory Shanghai will use more AI and its applications but it takes more time to make truly effective use of the technology.

In the end, Musk expressed his wish to visit the Gigafactory soon and attend the WAIC in person next year.

2) Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas recently wrote that Tesla is “the undisputed leader in EVs and Auto 2.0.” This Twitter thread takes issue with that…

3) Musk should be showing love to the SEC – LOL! Elon Musk ends up making over $50 million from his SEC settlement