Elon Musk to analysts: Don’t doubt me

Tesla is now ramping up production of 4680 cells, but there are technical challenges, Musk said. The company is developing new battery-making technologies for the 4680 to vastly reduce manufacturing costs.

“It’s a hard problem that we’re solving, and I think we still feel confident that the 4680 will be the most competitive battery cell in the world,” Musk said. Tesla is now making some of its Model Y crossovers in Texas using the new cell format, he added.

Another key product Musk has touted as a game-changer for the company is its Full Self-Driving software, which is now in beta form and cannot drive without human supervision.

Tesla sells the software to its customers for $15,000 as an advanced driving-assistance feature. That is generally considered a Level 2 system, not Level 4 or Level 5 autonomy.

On the call, Musk said the software will not be fully autonomous this year, in response to an analyst’s question. It will still require driver corrections.

The analyst, Collin Langen of Wells Fargo, later told Yahoo Finance that Musk’s definition of “full self-driving” seems different from the industry overall. Langen noted that he rode in a vehicle using the autonomous operator Cruise, without a human driver.

“What [Musk] described on the call really isn’t what most experts would call Level 4, Level 5 full self-driving,” Langen told Yahoo. “Someone still has to monitor the vehicle. That would be an advanced Level 2-plus type of system.”

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