Will Tesla's FSD ever see the light of day fully?
Tesla's PR department, otherwise known as Elon Musk's eccentric Twitter feed, has provided some new information about when Tesla drivers can expect to get access to a new "Download Beta" button in their cars. This would provide access to the Full Self Driving Beta program, currently made up of around 2,000 testers, enabling access to autonomous driving with minimal driver input. On March 7, Musk tweeted that the button would be offered in around 10 days. However, a more recent tweet from Musk this past weekend indicates otherwise, with the button now only expected in April. Currently, FSD is a $10,000 option on vehicles like the Model 3 and Model S.
Musk pointed to "significant architectural changes" and "fundamental improvements to pure vision" as the reasoning behind version 9.0 and the button only arriving in April. The button was announced as a response to extremely high demand for the FSD Beta, but of course, the technology can't be rushed. In a recent 13-minute video, the FSD system was a bit of a mixed bag. It performed well when keeping its distance from cyclists and pedestrians as well as stopping at red lights, but it was occasionally glitchy and once even saw the car pointing towards oncoming traffic.
Shortly after this, another Tesla accident immediately raised red flags regarding Autopilot, but it seems that the driver could have been to blame in that case. Recently, Musk made it known that drivers who were testing FSD Beta but did not pay attention as they should have had their access to the system revoked. Despite the intended April release of the button, we'd rather wait until the feature actually arrives than bet on it being here next month. The National Highway Transportation Administration (NHTSA) is keeping a close eye on Tesla and the beta program right now - expect any incidents to have harsh consequences.