Tesla rolls out Full Self Driving beta request button for owners
EV giant Tesla has started rolling out the Full Self Driving (FSD) beta request button for the owners of the Tesla electric vehicles. The FSD request button will allow EV owners to access the updated autonomous driving technology before its wider release. However, it will be made accessible only to drivers with a high safety score from Tesla.
The roll out of beta request button will likely boost uptake for Tesla's Full Self Driving beta versions and help the EV maker gather information to refine the update ahead of wider releases. However, this move could draw ire from safety agencies in US who are already investigating the carmaker's autopilot related crashes.
After CEO Elon Musk announced the details about the FSD beta button, US National Transportation Safety Board Chair Jennifer Homendy expressed concerns over safety. While previously the FSD beta option was available only to early access fleet of about 2,000 people, this figure will now increase and may even reach people who are not trained or aren't professional drivers.
With FSD beta version, Tesla drivers will get early access to new features that have not been debugged yet such as ‘autosteer on city streets’ which enables drivers to automatically navigate around complex urban environments without moving the steering wheel. To put in simple words, the FSD beta is an unfinished version of the company's premium driver-assistance software, which it sells in the US for $10,000 upfront or $199 a month.
Main features of Tesla's FSD programme are its ability to automatically enable drivers to change lanes, navigate on highways, drive to a parking spot, drive out of a parking spot or even drive a small distance at a slow pace without anyone behind the wheel. However, Tesla and Musk have time and again clarified that the programme requires drivers to remain attentive to the road at all times and be prepared to take over driving at any time.