Tesla's 'full self-driving' possibly a week away

Tesla's 'full self-driving' possibly a week away

Regulators in the US have criticised Tesla's use of the term full self driving as their cars have yet to fully achieve autonomy

Tesla said that those looking to avail the latest version of the Full Self Driving (FSD) beta will have to allow the firm to collect data on their driving style. Credit: Reuters File Photo

A number of Tesla owners who opted to cough up an additional $10,000 can finally get their hands on a test version of the carmaker's "full self-driving" software in about a week's time.

The announcement that is long overdue was made by Tesla boss Elon Musk on Twitter Tuesday. "Wow, lot of interest in FSD beta! Plan is to roll out version 10.2 midnight Friday, then on-ramp ~1000 owners/day, prioritized by safety rating," he tweeted.

For the past year, a few thousand individuals have been a part of the programme's testing software, with some sharing clips on social media. Tesla has neither disclosed the number of participants nor the criteria for their selection.

However, Tesla said that those looking to avail the latest version of the Full Self Driving (FSD) beta will have to allow the firm to collect data on their driving style or a "safety score". The safety, they said judges a driver's likelihood of being involved in an accident and would serve as a way to select only the safest of applicants.

Also Read | A life and death question for regulators: Is Tesla's Autopilot safe?

Tesla had claimed in 2016 that it had the hardware capability for 'full self-driving' and would eventually provide the software as an add-on to existing owners. Musk's idea of FSD centres around a passenger being able to sleep while the car drives itself.

A CNN report, however, says that the FSD beta on offer in a week's time is nowhere near Musk's vision or the definition of a self-driving car. Those who have managed to test earlier versions of the software have offered a mixed bag of reviews with some describing it as being "no better than a drunk driver", while others have praised it.

Regulators in the US have criticised Tesla's use of the term full self-driving as their cars have yet to fully achieve autonomy from a human driver. A Democratic Senator even described it as "misleading" and "unproven."

Many Tesla owners have already signed up for the beta and offered their safety score. According to Tesla, the score is calculated by factoring in hard braking, aggressive turnings, unsafe following (of another vehicle), the number of forward collision warnings and autopilot disengagements. Additionally, their driving behaviour must be good over a period of seven days.

Those who consented to have their driving style tracked have seen shocking results, the report added. In response, Musk attempted to allay fears, suggesting that the scores would predict crash probability more accurately as it receives more information.

The carmaker is also restricting the beta software to owners of vehicles with the FSD hardware in the US. As a result owners of older Tesla models and those outside the United States can not enrol for the much-anticipated programme.

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