by Fred Lambert
September 17, 2021
Elon Musk said that Tesla will use its telemetry data to make sure customers are “good” drivers before allowing them to access its Full Self-Driving Beta software. This is a tricky situation since those customers already paid for the software. Last week, Tesla started pushing its new Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta v10 software update to its early access fleet.
Tesla FSD Beta enables Tesla vehicles to virtually drive themselves both on highways and city streets, but it is still considered a level 2 driver assist since it requires driver supervision at all times. The driver remains responsible for the vehicle, and needs to keep their hands on the steering wheel and be ready to take control.
The v10 software update has been touted as “mind-blowing” by CEO Elon Musk. As we reported yesterday, the update shows some progress, but it still has some significant issues that make it less than mind-blowing. Musk had linked the update to the wider release of its FSD Beta software, which has so far only been used by its “early access fleet,” which consists of Tesla employees and customers selected by Tesla.
The CEO has been guiding a wider release through a “download button” for people who bought Tesla’s $10,000 Full Self-Driving package to finally get access to the latest version of the software. Now Musk confirmed that the wider release will happen next Friday (Sept. 24), but he added a condition:
“Beta button will request permission to assess driving behavior using Tesla insurance calculator. If driving behavior is good for 7 days, beta access will be granted.”
The CEO says that, before actually downloading FSD Beta, Tesla is going to request access to telemetry data for seven days and use its Tesla Insurance driving behavior calculator to determine if the driver is “good” before actually allowing to push the FSD Beta. We previously reported that Tesla is working on a driver “safety rating” based on driving behaviors and Autopilot use to affect insurance cost.
Electrek‘s take This is an interesting development. Insurance companies have been using driving data for years as an optional way to get your insurance premium down. It’s not surprising that Tesla would use the same method for self-driving, but there are other factors at play.
While it would make sense for Tesla to make sure only “good drivers” use its FSD Beta software as it gets trained, you venture into a tricky territory since those customers paid for the software already. Let’s say the driving behavior calculator rejects them for whatever reason, what happens now?
Do they not get access to the software only when it’s not in “beta” anymore? When will that be? Do they get reimbursed in the meantime? I don’t know. It does raise a lot of questions. Either way, it will be interesting to see how it plays out. In the meantime, if you plan on getting the software, please keep in mind that Tesla is not taking any responsibility for the FSD Beta and you are still responsible for your vehicle.
It’s important to be very careful and vigilant while using the software.