Last week, it seemed Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) planned a wider rollout of the company's Full Self Driving Beta, an optional software upgrade that allows Tesla vehicles to attempt to drive themselves from point A to point B with little to no driver interventions. The beta has been in a slow rollout, gradually adding more customers to the under development software.
At the beginning of March, CEO Elon Musk said the beta was in such high demand, that a button would be added to Tesla vehicles in a few weeks to allow anyone that has purchased the FSD option to join the beta at will. After agreeing to some terms, owners could then join the development program and let the car drive itself as much as they wanted.
Now Musk has taken back that timeline and said a rollout doesn't make sense right now as the system is undergoing "significant architectural changes." The software is undergoing upgrades to use more cameras simultaneously for better decision making. The radar will also not be required in future versions, which is something currently heavily relied on in Tesla and other manufacturer driver-assist systems.
Given significant architectural changes, including fundamental improvements to pure vision, there is limited value to testing 8.x. Hoping to upload V9.0 & button next month.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 20, 2021
NHTSA has stated it's watching this rollout closely. For now, the organization is taking a wait-and-see approach. When used appropriately, the system appears to be safe. Since starting the closed beta late last year, there hasn't been a single accident while the system was in use. FSD Beta is currently used by around 2,000 people in the US according to Musk.
Photo courtesy of Tesla.
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