Elon Musk says that Tesla aims to release new version of its Full Self-Driving Beta software with “Autosteer on city streets” next month, and it should come with a wider release to more customers.
Back in October 2020, Tesla started to push a Full Self-Driving Beta release to owners in the “Early Access” program, a group of Tesla owners who test early versions of Tesla’s new features before a wider release to the fleet.
The software update was seen as a major step toward Tesla delivering on its longtime promise of making its vehicles “full self-driving” through over-the-air software updates.
While the update doesn’t result in a truly self-driving vehicle since the responsibility still lies with the driver, which Tesla still requires to stay attentive and be ready to take control at all times, it does close the gap with Tesla’s Autopilot highway driving features and enable Tesla’s driver-assist system to control the vehicle on city streets and through intersections.
Tesla owners using the FSD beta are able to give the car a destination and the vehicle will attempt to drive them there autonomously with the driver keeping their hands on the steering wheel and ready to take over.
Over the last few months, we havehighlighted several videos from Tesla FSD beta testers trying the new software.
Since the first beta release in early access, Tesla has released several new versions of the beta software and gradually opened up the beta release to more owners, but it has yet to have a wider release and the rollout of new versions has slowed down over the last month or two.
Now CEO Elon Musk says that a new version of Tesla Full Self-Driving Beta software should come next month and enable a wider release:
The CEO added that this new version is a “big step change” toward achieving full self-driving capability:
“FSD beta build V8.1 normally drives me around with no interventions. Next version is a big step change beyond that. Tesla is solving a major part of real-world AI. This is not widely known.”
Recently, Musk has been stating that Tesla will achieve level 5 full self-driving capability, which generally refers to the vehicle completely driving itself without the need for driver monitoring the system, by the end of 2021.
However, the CEO has been wrong about that timeline before and even if he is right this time, any rollout of a driving system where the responsibility doesn’t lie with the driver is going to depend on regulatory approval, which will vary per market.