Tesla drivers can request FSD Beta at the push of a button, despite safety concerns

Electric car maker Tesla released a long-awaited software update on Friday night. This allows customers to request access to the controversial fully autonomous driving beta (FSD beta) software.

The move has pleased fans of CEOs Elon Musk and Tesla, but at risk of infuriating federal vehicle safety authorities who are already investigating automakers for possible safety flaws in driver assistance systems.

FSD Beta is an unfinished version of Tesla’s premium driver assistance software, FSD, which sells in the US for $ 10,000 upfront, or $ 199 per month.

FSD allows Tesla to automatically change lanes, navigate highways, move to parking, roll out of parking, and take short distances at a slow pace without anyone driving. Sold with a promise to be able to drive.

In FSD Beta, drivers have access to the unfinished “city autosteer” feature, which allows drivers to join the city with other vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and pets without having to move the steering wheel with their own hands. You can navigate the environment automatically. However, it should be noted that the driver holds the steering wheel with both hands and is ready to take over the driving at any time.

None of Tesla’s driver assistance systems (such as the company’s standard autopilot package, premium full self-drive option, FSD beta, etc.) make Tesla autonomous.

The company previously made the FSD beta available to about 2,000 people, primarily a mix of employees and some customers, who test on public roads without the software being debugged.

The new download button, on the surface, has the potential to rapidly increase the number of unregulatory untrained participants.

Government response

Tesla CEO Elon Musk makes a gesture on August 13, 2021 when he visits the construction site of Tesla’s Gigafactory in Grünheide, near Berlin, Germany.

Patrick Pururu | Reuters

Jennifer Homendi, head of the National Transport Safety Commission, expressed concern about the company’s plans in an interview with The Wall Street Journal when CEO Musk released new details about the FSD beta button last week.

Before Tesla expanded the FSD beta to other streets and territories, Homendy said it “needs to address basic safety issues.” NTSB managers were also dissatisfied with the company testing unfinished products on behalf of safety experts with untrained drivers on public roads.

Homendy also said in an interview with industry podcasts Autonocast and The Washington Post that Tesla’s use of the term fully autonomous driving in “level 2” driver assistance systems is misleading and confusing. increase.

Musk himself tweeted last week that the FSD beta looks so good that it could give drivers the false belief that they don’t have to pay attention to driving while the FSD beta is up and running. Said there is. Always a wheel.

On Saturday, after Tesla enabled the “Request for fully autonomous driving beta” feature on vehicles, a fan blog called Tesla said on Twitter, “Is Tesla a good chance after the NTSB chief’s comment?” I posted it.

Musk replied on Twitter with a link to Homendi’s biography on Wikipedia. Musk previously urged tens of millions of followers on Twitter to change his career description on Wikipedia, but he shared this link to Homendi’s biography without comment.

CNBC contacted Tesla and the NTSB, but neither was able to comment immediately on Saturday.

Safety score

Musk has promised Tesla owners an FSD beta download button for months. In March 2021, he wrote in a tweet that as soon as the car was connected to Wi-Fi, the following buttons would give users access to the latest FSD beta builds.

But he changed that approach. Currently, Tesla has a calculator that gives drivers a “safety score” and uses it to determine who can get and use the FSD beta software.

Screenshots shared by Tesla owners with CNBC on FSD show that a company’s “safety score” is similar to an insurance risk factor score.

Tesla’s system, according to communications and screenshots viewed by CNBC, driver’s “predicted collision frequency, forward collision warning per 1,000 miles, hard braking, aggressive diversion, unsafe tracking time, and forced “Cancellation of autopilot” is shown in the table.

Tesla’s system doesn’t seem to measure and explain at this time how often drivers can’t grab the steering wheel, how fast they take over when prompted, or how they are constantly monitoring the road.

In Tesla’s view, only users with a great weekly driving record can access the FSD beta.

Before Tesla released the FSD Beta button (and the 10.1 version of FSD Beta, scheduled for this weekend), CNBC took the California DMV Autonomous Vehicles Branch to see how FSD Beta-equipped vehicles have become popular in previous states. I asked if it was safe. ..

The DMV declined the request for an interview, but said in an email:

“Based on the information Tesla provided to DMV, this feature does not turn the vehicle into a self-driving car in accordance with California regulations. DMV collects information from Tesla in beta releases, including program and feature enhancements. Tesla must operate with appropriate regulatory approval for the ability to modify its capabilities to meet the California legal and regulatory definition of self-driving cars. Vehicle Autonomy Regardless of their level, the DMV reminded Tesla of clear and effective communication. The DMV is reviewing the use of the term “fully autonomous driving” for its technology. The DMV is ongoing and cannot be discussed until the review is complete. .. “

Tesla drivers can request FSD Beta at the push of a button, despite safety concerns

Source link Tesla drivers can request FSD Beta at the push of a button, despite safety concerns

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