Tesla Starts Judging Owners It Charged $10,000 for Self-Driving

Elon Musk giving YouTube tech reviewer Marques Brownlee a tour of the Fremont factory. (Credit: MKBHD/YouTube)

  • Elon Musk’s wider release of FSD beta comes with a catch
  • Prospective users first have to drive safely for seven days

The wait is almost over for some Tesla Inc. customers to get access to driver-assistance technology the company has marketed in controversial ways — as long as they’re on their best behavior.

Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk has said that on Friday, the electric-car maker will roll out an updated version of its Full Self-Driving beta software, which until now has only been available to roughly 2,000 people.

Those with access to this ever-updating software — a mix of Tesla employees and fervent Musk fans — have for almost a year been honing a system the company has charged as much as $10,000 for customers to use sometime in the future. Tesla says the system, often referred to as FSD, is designed to someday handle both short- and long-distance trips without driver intervention.

It’s unclear how broad the wider release will be because of a curve ball Musk threw earlier this month. The CEO tweeted that the download button customers will see Friday will request car owners’ permission for Tesla to assess their driving behavior for seven days. If the company deems the behavior good, it will grant access to FSD beta.





The expanded access and surprise condition are the latest twist and turn involving FSD and Autopilot, the driver-assistance system that’s divided Tesla watchers for years. Musk’s fostering of the perception Tesla is a self-driving leader has helped make it the world’s most valuable automaker by far. But others have taken issue with what they see as a reckless and misleading approach to deploying technology that isn’t ready. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently opened its second defect investigation into Autopilot since 2016.

In March of this year, however, Musk announced Tesla had revoked FSD beta from drivers that didn’t pay enough attention to the road.

The new head of the other investigator of auto crashes in the U.S., the National Transportation Safety Board, has taken umbrage with this sort of mixed messaging.

“Whether it’s Tesla or anyone else, it is incumbent on these manufacturers to be honest in what their technology does and does not do,” Jennifer Homendy told Bloomberg News in her first interview after she was sworn in last month.

‘It’s Terrifying’

Homendy has since called Tesla’s use of the term Full Self-Driving “misleading and irresponsible,” and expressed concern to the Wall Street Journal about FSD’s readiness to be used by more drivers on public roads.

News source

“If you liked the article, share it in ...”