Tesla's Full Self Driving Beta Rolling Out to More ‘Good Drivers'

Tesla's Full Self Driving Beta Rolling Out to More ‘Good Drivers'

Author: Eric Walz   

Tesla continues to expand access to the beta versions of its new Full Self Driving (FSD) autonomous driving features. Chief Executive Elon Musk confirmed a tweet early Monday that FSD version 10.2 is ready for download. However, there's a catch, only drivers with good driving habits will gain access to the latest beta version.

In a tweet last Thursday, Musk wrote that "FSD Beta 10.2 would begin to roll out to roughly 1000 owners with "perfect 100/100 safety scores at midnight on Friday. Musk added that if the updates go smoothly it will "gradually begin rolling out to 99 scores & below." The new FSD build however was delayed until early Monday to work out what Musk called a "few last minute concerns." 

During the beta phase of FSD, Tesla is ranking drivers based on driving data collected from their vehicles. Among the criteria being judged is how hard drivers push the accelerator, the use of turn signals, their speed in turns, and whether they frequently tailgate other vehicles. 

In September, Tesla added a "beta request button" for drivers that want to try out Tesla's latest version of FSD. However, requesting bet access doesn't necessarily mean that its will be granted. 

First Tesla requests permission to assess driving behavior using the Tesla insurance calculator. If the company deems that the driver's driving behavior is good for 7 days, beta access will be granted.

FSD is not free either, it costs an additional $10,000 on top of the price of the vehicle to unlock the more advanced autonomous driving feature. 

FSD beta extends Autopilot's hands-free highway driving feature to secondary roads. It offers such features as automatic lane changes in order to pass slower moving traffic, Autopark, Summon, Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control and the Full Self-Driving Computer that's required to power the system. Autosteer on city streets will be added in the future, according to Tesla's website.

Tesla opened up the beta version of FSD in Oct 2020 to what Musk called "a limited number of people who are expert & careful drivers", most of which were Tesla employees. Those with early access get the opportunity to try out Tesla's more advanced autonomous driving features and the company collects data from the vehicle to make improvements to the software.

Once officially launched, FSD will also be continuously upgraded through over-the-air software updates.

However, the launch of the beta version of Tesla's FSD software is being carefully watched by U.S. auto safety regulators. Despite its name, FSD is considered to be a SAE Level 2 system, meaning that human supervision is required at all times.

The latest beta version of FSD uses the vehicle's interior camera to more closely monitor the driver and determine their level of attentiveness. It issues audible alerts its the system deems the driver doesn't have their full attention on the road ahead.

Last October when FSD beta was first made available, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said it was closely watching Tesla's software. The agency said it's standing by and is ready to protect the public against safety risks.

Musk however is not concerned. He said that Tesla's Autopilot and FSD will soon be "much safer" than human drivers.

Eric Walz
Eric Walz
Originally hailing from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry here in Silicon Valley. He has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology.
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