Tesla is finally ready to roll out beta services of its Full Self-Driving Suite (FSD). According to CEO Elon Musk, throughout 2020, the company has been working on “a significant foundational rewrite in the Tesla Autopilot” and FSD capability.
Surprisingly, Musk did not make an official announcement. The CEO’s confirmation unexpectedly came as a response to a post by CleanTechnica. The EV news aggregator published an article on October 12 that compiled Musk’s recent opinions and insights about autonomous driving.
Musk also confirmed on Twitter that the limited FSD beta will be released “on Tuesday next week”. Tesla CEO stated that next week’s beta rollout will only be available to a limited number of “expert and careful drivers.”
Tesla’s Ongoing FSD Optimization Efforts
Tesla’s current self-driving and Autopilot package has limited autonomy. The automaker, however, has made a lot of progress during 2020 and has aggressively been trying to optimize its FSD feature. So far, the results have been impressive.
For instance, Musk announced last August that the company is developing its Dojo Neural Network supercomputer. It will be able to process larger amounts of data and gradually enable Tesla EVs to operate with no driver input. Through Dojo, self-driving cars will also be able to make both moral and technical driving decisions.
Tesla has also released important updates that significantly improve the efficiency of the FSD package. Last month, the company rolled out Update 2020.36 that improves its driver assistance systems for inner-city driving. More specifically, it enables vehicles to see and respond to stop signs and traffic lights at certain city intersections. This allows drivers to make adequate decisions accordingly.
On October 8, the company unveiled software Update 2020.40.3, which corrected its Speed Limit Sign Recognition algorithm. It will enable future FSD-equipped vehicles to accurately recognize travel speeds and take the appropriate measures.
Tesla’s FSD Beta Rollout: The Timing
Up until last September, Elon Musk remained more-or-less tight-lipped about Tesla’s FSD release. Additionally, the CEO never announced a concrete date for a beta release prior to yesterday’s tweet. Musk’s announcement also came within the timeframe that was announced last month.
On September 22, he stated that Tesla will release private beta “in a month or so”, and that there will be notable changes. Regarding the timing of announcements, the CEO is known for being a bit overambitious, so this represents a welcome change.
The company is adopting a gradual “tune-up” approach: rolling out updates bit-by-bit that will ultimately be incorporated into the final version of the FSD suite.
For all intents and purposes, it seems to be working!