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Poll: Which will come first: Person landing on Mars or U.S. wide level 4 FSD?

Which will come first: Person landing on Mars or U.S. wide level 4 FSD?

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Ben W

P85 #61, Roadster #108
Feb 27, 2009
Santa Barbara, CA
I interpret the FSD poll choice as “First car approved+available for non-geofenced L4 on all US highways and streets”; not necessarily that such cars would be widely available at that time. (Though with Elon’s model they will be, even if that means HW4 or HW5; the hardware will always predate the software by a couple years.) I expect L4-level reliability for highways to happen around 2025, unlimited city streets by around 2030.

First human landing on Mars, I’d guess 2035. Too many reasons to send a ton of robotic missions to prepare the place first; life support and safety for such a mission is about a lot more than just rocket science. First successful uncrewed touchdown of Starship on Mars will of course happen much sooner, I’d guess 2026 (or 2028 if the 2026 attempt RUD’s). 2024 would be a happy surprise.

Ben W

P85 #61, Roadster #108
Feb 27, 2009
Santa Barbara, CA
In 2017, Elon Musk said it's 2024.
In 2021, he corrected the timeline as 2026.


Or to put it another way (and this could equally well be called Elon’s Law, especially as it applies to FSD reaching production):

“Hofstadter’s Law: It will always take longer than you think, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s Law.”

To be clear, I am a huge fan of Elon’s efforts, and he’s excellent at quick prototyping. But “Elon Time” to production is a definite thing. And a crewed Mars mission is much more production than prototype. Hence Elon Time applies to it in spades.
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Reactions: mikes_fsd


Well-Known Member
May 7, 2009
Kihei, HI
Honestly, I think both are so far away that it's impossible for me to make a rational prediction. But I'll bet that before either of those things, Elon will send a pair of boots (probably his own) to Mars. He'll promise to have "Boots on Mars" in some unrealistically short time period, and then send an actual pair of boots.

What's meant by "widespread" in the poll, though? Does it mean 75% of major U.S. cities will have Level 4 in at least one suburban neighborhood? Or does it mean that 95% of drivers will be able to sleep in the back seat for 95% of their annual car travel distance?

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