This is a risky move.
Last month, Tesla rolled out trials of its Full Self-Driving Beta, enabling advanced autopilot features such as automatic lane changes, self-parking, and the ability to navigate city streets and intersections. Videos have even shown it can detect traffic lights and pedestrians. There was a catch, though: it was only available to a limited number of Model 3, Model S, Model X, and Model Y owners with proven safety records.
This will soon change, however as Elon Musk has announced the beta will be getting a wider release in just a couple of weeks. "Probably going to a wider beta in 2 weeks," he said in response to a user asking if the software will be available in Minnesota.
However, Musk didn't specify how many people will get to access the beta or which locations it will be available in. We should find out more details in a few weeks.
It's worth noting the software will doubtless have issues since it's still in beta, though the recent beta trials have enabled Tesla to improve the accuracy of the software. In the previous beta, Tesla warned users must "not become complacent" because the beta "may do the wrong thing at the worst time."
As a result, drivers are required to keep their hands on the wheel at all times and pay close attention to the road. In other words, no, your Tesla isn't fully autonomous just yet, but it's a step in the right direction.
No doubt the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration will also be paying close attention to the controversial beta trial. Experiencing the beta won't be cheap as Tesla's Full Self-Driving Package increased from $8,000 to $10,000 when the first beta rolled out.
While we'll probably see videos of near misses and traffic accidents caused by Tesla's Full Self-Driving beta flood the internet once the wider beta rolls out, the technology is undeniably impressive. It's still not flawless, but a recent test video showed the technology safely navigate a Model S on the famous winding roads of Lombard Street in San Francisco.