No, not that dumb yoke steering wheel.
Towards the end of last year, Tesla began Full Self-Driving Beta testing but only with a select group of customers. Things like automatic lane changes, self-parking, and the capability of navigating city streets and intersections will all soon be possible, though not without some controversy - after all, it's Tesla.
Tesla's FSD, which it claims will be classified as Level 5 autonomy, does not rely on Lidar, unlike Waymo's also-in-development technology. Instead, Tesla's FSD is advanced software and though the automaker is convinced of its safety, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is not. The jury is still out. However, a final verdict is expected fairly soon a Tesla has confirmed when the tech will finally arrive.
Musk has just replied to a question posted on Twitter asking when FSD subscriptions will launch for non-testers. Musk simply replied: "Q2 for sure." That means the expanded rollout will get underway anytime starting from April, only a month from now. Musk then added to his original reply: "Note, buying FSD will still be a better long-term deal than subscription."
FSD purchased as an option costs a hefty $10,000, bear in mind. However, customers can also access the tech via a monthly subscription, though Tesla has not announced how much that monthly cost will be. We wouldn't be surprised to find out not many customers option their new Tesla Model 3 or Model S without the $10k system because the tech is so new; not all Tesla owners are so-called first adopters anymore.
The initial hesitation is justified and we can be sure the NHTSA and rivals like Waymo will be watching very closely. Still, there have not been any serious accidents reported among those beta testers. The standard Autopilot is a different story entirely. There have been far too many instances where drivers engaged Autopilot and wrongly believed it was FSD. Autopilot is rated at Level 2 autonomy, meaning drivers must still place their hands on the steering wheel and pay attention to the road.
FSD aims to change that and if Musk is true to his word, interesting times are ahead just in time for spring and summer.