Musk stresses drivers must still be careful.
Tesla began rolling out Full Self-Driving Beta in October to a very select group of owners. Instead of utilizing Lidar cameras, the preferred technology of rival Waymo, Tesla's FSD is software-based and the system is constantly updating itself. Needless to say, this is somewhat controversial and safety advocates, including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), is watching things very carefully.
Earlier this month, Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed on Twitter that FSD will launch for non-testers sometime this spring. Meanwhile, FSD Beta demand continues to be high and Musk has decided its user base will now double in size.
"Due to high levels of demand for FSD Beta, adding 'Download Beta' button to Service section of car display in ~ 10 days." He also stressed to users to remain careful while driving because the system is still "getting mature."
It apparently does not matter whether one drives a Tesla Model S or Model Y; the system can accommodate the entire lineup. Once the non-Beta FSD rollout gets underway, users will have to pay. Purchased as an option, FSD is expected to cost $10,000, though Musk has stressed this is a better long-term option than a monthly subscription. A monthly cost has yet to be announced.
Tesla claims FSD will be rated at Level 5 autonomy, meaning drivers do not have to pay attention to the road whatsoever. The system will handle everything. This is quite the contrast to the existing Autopilot and its Level 2 rating. Drivers must still pay attention to the road and keep both hands on the wheel. Unfortunately, this has not always been the case and a number of accidents, some serious, have happened over the past few years.
Meanwhile, Waymo continues to test its own Level 5 system in select markets with a modified vehicle fleet. This mainly hardware-based tech likely won't be made available on private vehicles in the near future, though Tesla's entry into this specific market could speed that up.