Tesla to Expand Self-Driving Beta Program

Tesla to Expand Self-Driving Beta Program

Despite the name, Tesla’s “Full Self-Driving” (FSD) beta still requires human supervision. But the more high-profile companies work out the kinks – and prevent fatal accidents – the closer we get to sci-fi-style fully autonomous vehicles.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently announced that they were expanding the FSD beta via a software upgrade. The company originally introduced the feature in October, and as of last month, 1,000 vehicles were involved in the beta.

Exciting news, but Tesla is very aware of the tech’s precarious position.

“Beta is used to reduce complacency in usage and set expectations appropriately. All software is first tested by Tesla simulation and QA drive teams,” Musk said.

For a public fixated on high-profile failures – like the fatal accident in Tempe, Arizona, involving an Uber self-driving car and the countless non-fatal incidents – self-driving vehicles have to show a nearly flawless safety record. It’s not enough for them to be demonstrably safer than the piloted version. And they objectively are.

Tesla owners who wanted to try out the FSD beta should email earlyaccess@tesla.com, and Musk noted that a “download beta” button would show up on Tesla displays in a matter of days.

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