Tesla will offer a limited number of “expert and careful” drivers a beta of its long-awaited Full Self-Driving capability in Autopilot next Tuesday, according to Tesla chief Elon Musk.
As usual, Musk teased the Full Self-Driving (FSD) beta release in a tweet. Musk’s announcement indicates that Tesla will make good on his promise at the automaker’s September Battery Day event to deliver the system in a “month or so”.
“Limited FSD beta releasing on Tuesday next week, as promised. This will, at first, be limited to a small number of people who are expert and careful drivers,” wrote Musk.
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FSD doesn’t make a Tesla an autonomous car but rather works with Autopilot to enable particular tasks, such as automatic lane changes on highways, parking assist, the summon feature for parking lots, highway driving assistance, and assisted stops at traffic lights and signed intersections.
Later this year, FSD will gain auto-steer on city streets. The FSD add-on currently costs $8,000 but Musk has indicated that the price will rise further as new features are enabled. As Tesla notes on its website, FSD features require active driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous.
Musk last month talked up the recent progress the company has made on Autopilot, telling investors that Tesla engineers did a “fundamental rewrite of the entire Autopilot software stack”, as ZDNet sister site CNET reported. Musk was driving an alpha of the FSD version of Autopilot.
The latest version of Tesla Autopilot labels 3D video using the vehicle’s eight cameras versus previously only labeling single 2D images, Musk said.
“We’re now labeling entire video segments, taking all cameras simultaneously and labeling that. The sophistication of the neural net of the car and the overall logic of the car is improved dramatically.”
“I call it like 4D in the sense that it’s three dimensions plus time,” he added.
Musk said Tesla was aiming to release a private beta of the FSD version of Autopilot, which would demonstrate the “profound” change in the system.
It’s not clear when FSD will become more broadly available. However, according to CleanTechnica’s timeline of Musk’s recent tweets about FSD, Tesla is aiming for a public beta around October or November, and then plans to deliver the update to all US Tesla owners in mid-December, pending any major unexpected setbacks.