- Tesla drivers can now request access to its Full Self-Driving Beta software.
- Drivers will be tested on five safety factors, after which Tesla will grant FSD access.
- A US safety regulator has said Tesla’s use of the term “autonomous driving” is misleading.
Elon Musk announced a eagerly awaited software update Saturday, allowing Tesla customers to request access to its full self-driving (FSD) beta software, despite disapproval from security advocates and regulators.
This is the first time Tesla has allowed customers to request an upgrade of its FSD beta software.
The company had come under increasing pressure to release a final version of FSD, for which customers shelled out $ 10,000 upfront for the promise that it would eventually allow the cars to drive themselves.
But FSD’s beta is still an unfinished upgrade, as none of Tesla’s driver assistance systems make the cars fully autonomous.
In March, Musk tweeted that the feature’s download button would give users access to the beta of FSD. as soon as their car is connected to Wi-Fi. But that approach has apparently changed, as Tesla now has a calculator that determines whether a user’s driving behavior can allow them to use the software.
Tesla has published a “safety rating” guide that details the specific criteria by which drivers are rated. It states that drivers will be rated between 0 and 100, with most receiving 80 or more.
According to the guide, drivers will be ranked based on five factors: forward collision warnings every 1,000 miles, hard braking, aggressive cornering, dangerous following and forced autopilot disengagement.
“These are combined to estimate the likelihood that your driving could result in a future collision,” Tesla said. To achieve a safety score, vehicles must be connected to a Wi-Fi network and users must have downloaded software update 2021.32.22.
Only users who have a “safe” driving record for a full week will have access to the FSD Beta software.
The software update allows drivers to access a not yet perfect “city streets autoguiding” feature, and allows them to navigate the roads alongside other vehicles, cyclists and others. people without moving the steering wheel by themselves.
Nevertheless, drivers are urged to remain alert and ready to resume driving when prompted.
Tesla’s FSD software has come under heavy criticism from security advocates and the main US security regulator.
Jennifer Homendy, the new director of the National Transportation Safety Board, told the Wall Street Journal before the beta was published that the electric vehicle manufacturer’s use of the term autonomous driving is “deceptive and irresponsible.”
“Basic security concerns need to be addressed before it is extended to other streets in the city and other areas,” Homendy told the Journal.
This claim, and Tesla’s autopilot function, has been criticized by regulators and lawmakers who have said the names trick drivers into thinking cars are autonomous when they are not.
“This has clearly misled many people to abuse and abuse the technology,” Homendy added.
Last month, Musk said FSD’s software before the last update was “actually not great” and drivers should be “paranoid” when driving with it.