Tesla extends FSD access to “anyone in North America who requests it” • TechCrunch

Tesla is expanding its “full self-driving” (FSD) beta software “to anyone in North America who requests it from the car’s screen,” according to CEO Elon Musk who tweeted came out on the news late Wednesday evening. The rollout of FSD across the continent comes as Tesla potentially faces a criminal investigation by the US Department of Justice over false claims related to the company’s advanced driver assistance system Autopilot.

Autopilot is standard in Tesla vehicles and performs automatic driving functions such as steering, accelerating and braking automatically. FSD, which costs North American drivers $15,000, is an extension of Autopilot that includes features such as assisted steering on highways and city roads, summoning smart vehicles, automatic parking and recognizing and reacting to traffic lights and stop signs.

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Autopilot, and by extension FSD, has come under the scrutiny of regulators in recent years following a number of Tesla accidents, many of them fatal. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened a special investigation into 36 Tesla crashes involving Autopilot since 2016, five of which happened this year. Tesla has also come under fire from the California Department of Motor Vehicles and drivers who claim the company falsely advertised its Autopilot and FSD self-driving capabilities.

Some Tesla owners and enthusiasts predicted the company can allow FSD to all cars after Tesla seems to have dropped the requirement for 100 Autopilot miles and a safety score of at least 80 to receive FSD updates. This is a lack of research considering the fear that drivers using ADAS are less likely to see the road and be alert if the system fails. Tesla’s website encourages drivers to keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.

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Despite the concern, any driver who has paid the hefty price for Tesla’s FSD can access the software in North America. Tesla previously expanded FSD access to 160,000 owners in the US and Canada in September, and today’s widespread rollout makes good on Musk’s previous promise to get FSD in every Tesla by the end of 2022.

Musk has admitted that Tesla can achieve full-self driving by the end of the year, but during the third quarter earnings the company admitted that FSD will not get regulatory approval to be driven without someone behind the wheel in 2022. The number of users and the possibility of giving supercomputer Tesla Dojo more data for used could be one of the reasons Tesla chose now to expand.

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It can also be a step to ease investors’ worries and earn more revenue. Tesla’s stock is at a two-year low and its market cap has shrunk from $1.2 trillion last November to $574 billion today after Musk’s Twitter buyout and company-turned drama.

The FSD scaling also follows news from Tesla engineers Romi Phadte and Gabe Gheorghian who spoke at BazelCon this week and shared that Tesla has increased the number of FSD simulations per week from around 250,000 in 2020 to 2 million today.


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