It's very impressive but nerve-wracking to watch.
Beta testing for Tesla's new full-self driving software has begun, enabling new advanced Autopilot features such as automatic car parking and automatic lane changing on highways. It's arguably the most significant advancement in Tesla's autopilot technology yet. However, it's important to stress that drivers are still required to be attentive and keep their hands on the wheel at all times. This is nowhere near Level 5 fully autonomous technology.
To reduce the risk of accidents, only drivers with high safety records are invited to try out the beta. While plenty of hair-raising near misses have been documented in videos online, the technology is constantly improving.
With the technology installed, Tesla cars have been able to safely navigate city streets, residential streets, and freeways. But what happens when you try to navigate the famous winding roads of Lombard Street in San Francisco? Using a Tesla Model S, one owner decided to find out at their own risk and recorded the result for us to watch.
With eight hairpin turns to navigate, this is one of the toughest tests yet for Tesla's full-self driving software. After the navigation calculates the route, the YouTuber sets off nervously, trusting the technology to navigate one of America's toughest roads.
It's not exactly a relaxing drive, but the self-driving tech handles the "most crooked street in the world" surprisingly well considering it's still being beta tested. This is a very impressive demonstration of the technology's potential, but it's nerve-racking to watch.
The self-driving Model S successfully handles several of Lombard Street's hairpin turns with no intervention from the driver. However, the beta's limited 15-mph top speed proved to be too fast to navigate the roads safely. At one point, the full-self driving software also fails to detect a curb when a driveway gets in the way. Since the software is still in beta and there are still some kinks to iron out, more improvements are coming that should enable the technology to handle Lombard Street flawlessly in the near future.