Electric vehicle maker Tesla is set to expand its controversial FSD beta program with a long-awaited download button that will allow customers to get new, unfinished versions of the company’s driver assistance software to test on public roads , even if that software has not been debugged. So far.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who called the previous version of the FSD beta software “not great,” cautioned on Friday evening that the FSD beta looks so good now that it can give drivers a false sense of security that they need to focus on driving. No need to give. They have to be attentive and at the wheel, even though FSD betas are engaged.
Tesla and CEO Musk did not immediately respond to CNBC for comment.
Tesla markets its driver assistance systems in a standard package called Autopilot, and a premium package called FSD, short for Full Self-Driving in the US, according to the company’s users manual and website, none of these systems are available on Tesla’s website. Doesn’t make cars autonomous.
Musk has been promising his fans the FSD beta button for at least six months. On March 9, 2021 they wrote: “QA testing of Build 8.3 FSD should be done by the end of next week, so that’s roughly when the download button appears.”
The CEO also revealed Thursday that Tesla will require owners who use the upcoming beta button to prove they are good drivers before accessing their FSD beta downloads.
Musk wrote: “The beta button will request permission to assess driving behavior using the Tesla Insurance Calculator. If driving behavior is good for 7 days, beta access will be allowed.” (The company began selling insurance in its home state of California in August 2019.)
Tesla board member, Hiromichi Mizuno, shared Musk’s announcement and touted the company’s approach, writing on Friday: “You have to be a good driver to not drive, which could become a new norm.”
Musk responded to Mizuno on Friday night:
“Ironically yes at the moment. FSD beta systems can sometimes sound so cool that alertness isn’t necessary, but it is. Also, any beta user who isn’t super careful will boot up. 2000 beta users Have been working for almost one year without any accidents. Need to stay like that.”
Musk’s tweet contradicts the facts of the FSD beta program stated in a California Department of Motor Vehicles Autonomous Vehicle Branch memo written in March 2021.
Miguel Acosta, chief of the DMV’s Autonomous Vehicle Branch, who wrote the memo, spoke with Tesla employees on that date, including Associate General Counsel Eric Williams and Autopilot Software Director CJ Moore.
Acosta wrote that he notified them of the FSD beta program as of March 9, 2021, involving 753 Tesla employees and 71 non-employees — less than half of the 2,000 FSD beta users Musk said in his tweet on Friday. mentioned.
CNBC directly obtained the memo and other correspondence between Tesla and the California DMV, previously published by Plainsite, a legal transparency website.
In its correspondence, Tesla touted its latest FSD beta features as a Level 2 driver assistance system, rather than a completely driverless technology.