Tesla has rolled out its long-awaited software, Full Self Driving Beta version 10.2 to drivers outside of their test group. Tesla car owners with a perfect safety driving score of 100 over 100 miles can access this new version of software for further testing.
“Rollouts will hold for several days after that to see how it goes. If that looks good, beta will gradually begin rolling out to 99 scores and below,” Musk had tweeted earlier.
Some minor last-minute concerns delayed the release of this Beta version over the weekend, to drivers from outside the actual group of test drivers.
A point to note, Tesla instructs the drivers to use Full Self-Driving in limited Beta only if they will pay constant attention to the road, set to act immediately, especially around blind corners, crossing intersections, and in narrow driving situations.
After its introduction in 2013, FSD keeps receiving upgrades and added features time and again with improvements and further test versions. The current 10.2 version of the software offers point-to-point semi-autonomous driving. The owner can enter a destination and let the car do most of the driving yet still has to remain alert and monitor the road, ready to take over at a moment’s notice.
It has a new driver monitoring system that uses a camera to observe the driver’s eyes and face and sounds an alarm when it detects that the driver is not paying attention to the road. Beta 10.2 also shows the driver visualisations of the car’s environment as the software sees it.
Partial Automation functionality when exposed to environments to which it was not initially designed for, will essentially require the driver to remain attentive to the car’s behaviour in relation to lane traffic and other such things. This was and is still a major point of contention among the industry’s critics.
In addition, the lack of a more extensive driver monitoring system had been one of the criticisms of this Tesla’s brand of Autopilot for cars.
The software is currently available to selected and approved Tesla drivers at USD 10,000 as a one-time fee or for USD 199 per month.
Still in Level 2 Partial Automation functionality, FSD Beta is highly doubtful to evolve into Level 3 or Level 4 to allow complete automation of the vehicle, allowing the car complete run of steering and other functions.
However, Tesla is not the only automaker pushing the limits of Level 2. General Motors has recently announced its own Ultra Cruise system in specific vehicles in 2023, allowing the system to control the vehicle in “95 per cent of all driving scenarios.”