You Can Now Get Tesla's Full Self-Driving Beta With Just One Press

Genevieve Fraser
· 4 min read
In late September 2021,
Tesla
released a beta version of its Full Self-Driving (FSD) software, allowing consumers to request access with the simple push of a button.
It's a massive leap for the company—and Tesla fans—although the move has elicited some concerns regarding the
safety of autonomous vehicles
.
Tesla is making it even easier to get full self-driving mode.

Tesla rolls out it's FSD Beta program amid controversies

According to a
CNBC
news report, FSD Beta is a preliminary version of Tesla’s premium FSD software, which costs a one-time payment of $10,000 or a monthly payment of $199 to access.
There is a catch, though. Only those drivers who meet and maintain a certain “safety score,” as determined by Tesla, for seven days will be allowed access. This score takes a number of driving habits into account, including braking, turning, collision warnings, and following time, among other factors.
CNBC noted that the score does not seem to include a measure of time spent with hands on the steering wheel, the speed with which drivers assume control of the vehicle when asked, or road attention. This is concerning because, despite its name, FSD is not actually licensed as a completely autonomous driving software. 
Some feel that this is not a viable means to determine eligibility, as Tesla has been adamant about releasing the full autopilot software despite previous controversies about safety issues regarding the brand's driver-assisted systems. 
The launch has elicited concerns among federal vehicle safety authorities for potential safety issues with the FSD Beta software. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) voiced its concern, saying that Tesla must first address safety issues before offering its partially driver-assisted software to consumers. It also expressed its disappointment in the company's move to test the unfinished software on public roads.
Tesla initially distributed the FSD Beta to 2,000 drivers for tests on public roads. Today, it's issuing it out to consumers, allowing Tesla drivers to request for the yet-to-be-debugged FSD Beta to get their vehicles fully autonomous.
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What can consumers expect from Tesla's FSD Beta?

Tesla is campaigning for the new FSD Beta, promising to enable its cars to automatically cruise the highway, switch lanes, move into or roll out from a parking slot or drive over a small distance without the driver having to control the steering wheel.
A distinct feature of the FSD Beta is the "Autosteer on City Streets" function. Although it hasn't been debugged yet, the feature enables the car to navigate through complex and busy street settings. For instance, it can automatically steer through a street with other vehicles and motorists, pedestrians, cyclists, and dog-walking individuals without requiring the driver's attention. 
In August 2021,
USA Today
announced that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) probed 765,000
Tesla models sold from 2014
following a series of collisions involving vehicles with AutoPilot partially automated driving software. 
As per the NHTSA report, there have been 11 crashes since 2018 in which Tesla cars on autopilot have crashed into other vehicles, resulting in 17 injuries and one fatality.

Not-so-fully-autonomous FSD Beta: why you still have to be alert on the road

It's worth noting that neither Tesla's standard Traffic Aware Cruise Control nor the FSD Beta provides full vehicle autonomy. Drivers still have to place their hands on the steering wheel and pay attention to the road. That enables them to respond appropriately immediately when they identify a safety risk. 
He also stated that a driver's request for approval for FSD Beta use would depend on their performance on the "Safety Score." It's a test monitored by a Tesla car's inbuilt calculator that gauges a driver's performance on various parameters such as, Predicted Collision Frequency, Hard Braking, Unsafe Following Time, Forward Collision Warning per 1,000 Miles, and Forced Autopilot Disengagements. 
But critics say it would be better if the calculator also assessed how often drivers forget to keep hold the steering wheel, how fast they respond when prompted, and how alert they are on the road. 
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