Elon Musk says Tesla FSD beta may trick users into believing their cars are driverless

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Electric vehicle maker Tesla set to expand its controversial FSD Beta program with a long-awaited download button that would allow customers to get new, unfinished versions of the company’s driver assistance software to test on public roads even if this software has not been debugged yet.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who called a previous version of FSD Beta software “not great,” warned on Friday night that the FSD beta now looks so good it can give drivers a false sense of security that they do not need to pay attention to driving while driving. FSD Beta is committed, even if they have to stay alert and behind the wheel.

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 United States. None of these systems make Tesla cars self-sufficient, according to the owner’s manuals and the company’s website.

Musk has been promising his fans an FSD Beta button for at least six months. On March 9, 2021, he wrote: “FSD version 8.3 is expected to go through QA testing by the end of next week, so that’s around when the button download should appear. “

The CEO also revealed Thursday that Tesla will require owners who use the next beta button to first prove they are good drivers, before they can access their FSD beta download.

Musk wrote: “The beta button will ask for permission to assess driving behavior using the Tesla Insurance Calculator. If the driving behavior is good for 7 days, access to the beta will be granted. . ” (The company began selling insurance in its home state of California in August 2019.)

Tesla board member Hiromichi Mizuno shared Musk’s announcement and praised the company’s approach, writing on Friday: “You have to be a good driver not to drive, which could become a new standard. “

Musk replied to Mizuno on Friday night:

Ironically, yes at the moment. FSD’s beta system can sometimes seem so good that vigilance is not necessary, but it is. Also, any beta user who is not very careful will be started. 2000 beta users running for almost a year without an accident. Must stay that way. “

Musk’s tweet contradicts the facts about the FSD beta program conveyed in the California Department of Motor Vehicles Autonomous Vehicles Branch memo written in March 2021.

The head of the autonomous vehicles branch of the DMV, Miguel Acosta, who wrote the memo, spoke to Tesla employees on that date, including associate general counsel Eric Williams and Autopilot software director CJ Moore. .

Acosta wrote that they informed him that the FSD Beta program as of March 9, 2021, included 753 Tesla employees and 71 non-employees – less than half of the 2,000 FSD Beta users Musk referred to in his tweet. Friday.

CNBC obtained the memo and other correspondence between Tesla and the California DMV directly, which was previously posted by Plainsite, a legal transparency website.

In their correspondence, Tesla referred to even its latest FSD Beta features as a Level 2 driver assistance system, rather than fully autonomous technology.


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