Tesla fans may not have long to wait to get a taste of self-driving cars, as CEO Elon Musk has (finally) confirmed an official launch date of the Full Self-Driving Beta v9.
In the early hours of Thursday, Musk tweeted in a reply that “Beta 9 will start uploading at midnight California time on Friday,” adding, “Bear in mind, it is still just a beta!”
The latter comment may be interpreted in multiple ways, considering Musk’s years-long hype of the feature and Tesla’s rocky road to get there. Musk himself admitted on Saturday via a tweet reply that he “didn’t expect” creating self-driving cars to be “so hard.”
“Generalized self-driving is a hard problem, as it requires solving a large part of real-world AI,” he tweeted then. “Didn’t expect it to be so hard, but the difficulty is obvious in retrospect. Nothing has more degrees of freedom than reality.”
(It also should be noted that, while many have interpreted Musk’s comment to mean this coming Friday/Saturday, he wasn’t exactly clear on the matter: When a Twitter user asked if he meant this week or next week, he simply replied, “Saturday.”)
Musk’s chosen medium to announce this update–not even via a standard tweet, but rather, a Twitter reply–has seemed to be his preferred method as of late, perhaps in hopes that these updates will fly under the radar. Of course, even if that were the case, his millions of followers wouldn’t let that happen–and his own vocal enthusiasm for self-driving cars has ensured that the results of v9 will be watched closely around the globe.