There is a lot of speculation that Autopilot 2.0 is imminent--perhaps coming within a quarter or two. There's also a lot of speculation that Autopilot 2.0 will be capable of level 4 autonomy. I'm going to put myself out there and say: Not a chance. I should "color" this opinion, as the financial analysts like to put it, by stating that: I am a huge Tesla fan I am a huge Elon Musk fan I am a fan of technology I am a happy early Model S adopter (reservation January 2010, first S delivered Dec. 2012). But this forum tends to be the king of manufacturing unrealistic expectations. I'll summarize this post right off the bat by saying the following: If you are putting off a Tesla purchase waiting for autonomous driving, you're wasting your time. You will probably not see AP 2.0 hardware for another few quarters at the very earliest. And that's being optimistic. You will not see AP 2.0 (what I am using to characterize level 4 autonomy) for about 5 years. And that's being VERY optimistic, even keeping in mind the blindingly fast pace Tesla is moving with this technology. You will not see level 3 autonomy from Tesla for at least 2 years. And that's being optimistic. Let me explain. Autopilot has been out for a year now. While improvements have been remarkable, think about the basic highway driving scenarios that aren't handled yet. 1. Every time I crest a hill, my car dives for the left or right side of the road unless I'm following another car. 2. Every time the lane markings fade, the car drifts and I have to take over. 3. Every time I pass an entrance ramp with cars merging, I have to take control. AP does not handle sequencing itself with merging vehicles. 4. Every time I'm merging myself, I have to take control. The car cannot sequence itself to merge onto the highway. 5. The car does not automatically change lanes to maintain a target speed. 6. The car does not avoid large road obstructions. 7. The car does not move laterally to avoid parked cars on the shoulder, bicyclists, or pedestrians. 8. The car is not always clear about which lane a car ahead is in. Sometimes TACC slows for a car in an adjacent lane. 9. If a car cuts in front of you, the braking is later than most would consider to be comfortable. 10. The car cannot stop as smoothly or gradually as a human would (though something close to this may be coming in 8.0). These are just a few scenarios in the simplest driving environment--on a highway. While some of these scenarios would clearly benefit from additional hardware, some of them should be perfectly doable with existing hardware: notably 1, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. There are more examples of improvements that can come with existing hardware. For example: -Stoplight and stop sign recognition. -Automatic speed limit adjustment. -When following a vehicle, the car should maintain itself over the path that the lead car took over the ground. (This is useful when following a car on a road without lane markings, or when passing through an intersection without lane markings). Instead, it tends to somewhat "cut the corner" and head straight for the lead car, which could put you into the curb or an adjacent lane (or an adjacent car!) -If following a car into an unmarked intersection and the lead car changes lanes, your car will follow it into the adjacent lane! This will greatly surprise the car next to you and could lead to a bad day. -In stop and go traffic, if the lead car alternates between moving a few feet forward, then stopping...then moving forward, then stopping...then your car will annoyingly accelerate, brake, etc. Car should be able to recognize that the time average speed of the lead car is low, and glide along gradually at a very slow speed, using little energy or brakes and leading to a smooth slow ride. These are additional scenarios that are perfectly achievable with existing hardware. So over a year of autopilot, we've seen improvement in lane holding, smoothness of steering (and, to a lesser extent, braking). contrast, and other things. But there is a *LONG* way to go before we've exhausted AP1.0 hardware capabilities. So while it's possible that, within a few quarters, Tesla could put out cars with hardware for full autonomy (or at least level 3) and then update them via software over time, I wouldn't expect fully autonomous hardware anytime soon. Why? 1. Achieving level 4 is clearly an interative process. Starting out, Tesla thought they could rely on cameras. After the Joshua Brown accident, they realized the limitation of using cameras as a primary sensor (I believe this caused Tesla to end the relationship with Mobileye) and changed their focus. This will probably happen again. For instance, Elon might be against LIDAR, but he may come around to it if radar processing doesn't turn out to work as well as he'd hoped. 2. Each sensor that's added makes the processing and software that much more involved and complicated. 3. Level 3 and certainly 4 will require an enormous amount of testing and validation. By Elon's benchmark, it has to be an order of magnitude safer than a human driver at the very least. Probably several years worth of testing data once they have a Level 4 system before Tesla says you can ride as a passenger while the car drives. But certainly even longer before the government says it's ok.. 4. Building a bunch of cars with level 4 hardware and selling them to customers with a promise that they might be able to use them for level 4 driving 5 or more years down the road doesn't make sense. That would be a money-losing proposition for Tesla, unless there are enough foolish buyers out there to pay for the feature many years before it could potentially even be usable. Yes, Elon mentioned the car being able to drive from NY to pick you up in LA in about 2 years. (Guess what? As awesome as he is, did anyone ever notice that he's a bit overly optimistic when it comes to time frames?) Yes, what Tesla is doing is awesome. Yes, Tesla's gathering FAR more data than *anyone* out there. But if you extrapolate the improvements we've seen since 7.0 and project that out toward even Level 3 autonomy, you should be able to recognize it will be several years before you can chill out and watch your Tesla automatically merge with traffic and autonomously change lanes. And even longer before it will navigate an intersection and make a turn for you. Yes, there are "marketing" and "research" videos out there showing what approaches Level 3 and 4 technology. But while you might see something near Level 3 or 4 autonomy in the video, that's a very narrow subset of the curveballs the world can throw at you. I hate to burst any bubbles, but putting a Level 4 car out there in the real world is many orders of magnitude harder. Long story short, if you're waiting for the "fully autonomous Tesla" before you put down your deposit, I recommend either buying now or moving on. It's going to be awhile. It's going to be interesting as hell. But it's going to be awhile.