On the 20th October, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted out the following:
FSD beta rollout happening tonight. Will be extremely slow & cautious, as it should.
The Tesla community has been anticipating this roll out for a long time now, and Musk has repeatedly teased it’s release, before delaying it again.
This time, however, is different. A beta version of Tesla’s full self-driving software is being released to members of the public. Not just any members of the public though, they are hand-picked by Tesla as being careful and experienced drivers.
What do we know so far?
Since the FSD beta has only just been release, information on how it performs is limited. However, a few Twitter users and Tesla fans have been given the update, along with permission to share their experience on social media.
First of all, here’s the release notes that were given out by Tesla:
Full Self-Driving is in early limited access Beta and must be used with additional caution. It may do the wrong thing at the worst time, so you must always keep your hands on the wheel and pay extra attention to the road. Do not become complacent.
When Full Self-Driving is enabled your vehicle will make lane changes off highway, select forks to follow your navigation route, navigate around other vehicles and objects, and make left and right turns. Use Full Self-Driving in limited Beta only if you will pay constant attention to the road, and be prepared to act immediately, especially around blind corners, crossing intersections, and in narrow driving situations.
Twitter user Brandonee916 has been one of the most vocal FSD recipients. One of the first videos he released shows the updated user interface, which gives the driver a lot more detail on what the car can see. Impressively, the car has been able to visualise the full intersection before it arrived at it.
Additionally, it seems to be capable of turning through the intersection without driver intervention. Although this is something we’ve seen from other self-driving startups like Waymo in the past, those systems only worked in specific locations, whereas Tesla FSD works throughout the US.
The next clip from Brandonee916 shows the vehicle making a left turn. Again, this is without driver assistance, and the car does a few extra complex things here that are worth noting.
As he put it, it [the Tesla] turned on the signal, waited for the car and pedestrians… at night! The dotted line on the screen represents the path that the car has decided to take.
The third clip shows how the car responds to street lights and other road users. In addition to successfully navigating through several junctions and intersections, it also manages to navigate around parked cars.
In the next video, FSD almost successfully handles a roundabout, which has been one of its most anticipated features for a long time. Although the driver disengaged at the end as he thought the car was swinging too wide, many think that the car would have handled the situation fine had he let it run its course. Regardless, it’s still better to be cautious with new beta software like this.
Another Tesla owner who received the update was from Twitter account ‘Tesla Owners Silicon Valley’. After picking up another owner, Tesla Raj, he recorded a reaction video of them both.
Finally, here’s footage of a left and a right turn from Tesla Owners Silicon Valley.
I’ll update this post with further clips and information on Full Self Driving once available.