Just about everybody is working on building an autonomous driving system — even Google and Apple — but a senior engineer on Volvo's autonomy project had some hard words for the current implementation of Tesla's Autopilot system.

The Tesla Model S can drive itself... to a degree

Speaking with The Verge, Trent Victor, senior technical leader of crash avoidance at Volvo had this to say about Tesla Autopilot:

It gives you the impression that it's doing more than it is. It is more of an unsupervised wannabe. ... In our concept, if you don't take over, if you have fallen asleep or are watching a film, then we will take responsibility still. We won't just turn [autonomous mode] off. We take responsibility and we'll be stopping the vehicle if you don't take over.

Tesla classifies their Autopilot system as "Level 2 autonomous", which is to say that it combines two basic autonomy functions — in Tesla's case, that's adaptive cruise control and lane keeping, though they have also implemented lane-changing. Level 3 autonomy includes the ceding full control to the car, though if it encounters a situation it cannot handle it'll hand driving tasks back to the driver, while Level 4 includes full and complete point-to-point autonomy.

Of course, full Level 4 autonomy is the goal of every automaker, Volvo and Tesla included. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has publicly stated that he expects his company's autopilot system to be operational around the end of 2017 (uncoincidentally around the same time the Tesla Model 3 will be launching). Tesla advises drivers using Autopilot that they should remain alert and prepared to take the wheel should their car hand over control.

Volvo, on the other hand, has only implemented adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning systems on production vehicles, and has no plans to put into production anything further that's less than Level 4 autonomy. They are planning to launch a public trial of their Drive Me Level 4 autonomy system in 2017 in Sweden with 100 drivers, though they won't likely be on the road until 2020, right alongside Nissan.