Elon Musk, Tesla's CEO, said that he plans to release the controversial Full Self-Driving beta software by September. This comes nearly a year after the beta software was first tested with select customers. This news comes after an older version was leaked online.
Musk stated on Twitter that FSD version 10 would be available to customers who signed up for the early access program at midnight, September 10. Musk estimates that the software would need to be tuned and bug-fixed for a few more weeks. A public beta button will then be available to Tesla customers. This button is expected to look like a download button for those who have purchased the FSD package.
This should be done with a huge grain of salt
This should be taken with a huge grain of salt. Musk has promised a larger release of beta software to customers who have purchased the FSD package ($10,000) for some time. Musk may tweet an extension to the deadline so customers are excited.
To give you an idea of how long this has been going on, Musk claimed that FSD's long-awaited version would start rolling out in August 2018. This didn't happen. In 2019, Musk repeated the same claim, claiming that in a year, there would be more than a million vehicles with fully self-driving and software. FSD version 9 was actually shipped to early access members only.
To say that Tesla fans had been waiting for this update for some time would be an understatement. Some customers are fed up with waiting and have sued the company for false advertisement.
Tesla claims that the software controls the vehicle's steering, lane centering and acceleration on highways as well as city streets. It is still a Level 2 advanced driver assistance system, meaning that it requires constant supervision from the driver. Studies show that drivers may find it harder to keep an eye on the road if they have to be supervising. This can lead to dangerous situations. Tesla's self-driving product is not only legally responsible, but also the driver.
Research has shown that drivers with Level 2 ADAS may find it harder to be vigilant while driving.
It is clear that Tesla is more open than other companies to allow beta versions of the Autopilot driver assistance feature to be tested on customers. This is in the interest gathering data and fixing any bugs. Customers are generally happy with this and regularly flood Musks's comments asking to be admitted to the beta testing program. This has contributed to Tesla's public image as a leader in autonomous-driving, despite the fact that its cars are still far from what experts consider a self driving car.
According to Electrek, a leaked version of Tesla's FSD software is spreading among hackers. The website cited unnamed sources to report that binary firmware files from the software were being circulated in the Tesla root access community. According to SSH.com
Root access is generally a privilege that allows you to log in to a root account on the server or to execute commands as root on it, such as sudo.
Tesla owners have used root to access company software and unreleased features. Root access allows you to run the software on your car. According to Electrek the hacker community tries to keep things quiet in order to not alarm Tesla.
A Tesla owner in Ukraine posted a video recently using FSD beta 8.2 in Kiev, which Tesla has not released. Tesla has not adapted FSD to other countries as it was developed only for the US market. This is an example of Tesla's FSD working in locations without good maps, as noted by hacker @greentheonly.
It also serves as a reminder of the dangers that can befall self-driving systems if you don't use high-definition mapping. Tesla is not like autonomous vehicle companies Waymo and Cruise that use HD maps. It also does not restrict the use of its software in certain areas (also known as geofencing).
Musk stated that he is working to develop an autonomous vehicle technology that uses vision-based sensors such as cameras and neural net-trained software. Musk has sneered at the AV industry's reliance upon sensors such as lidar, which uses lasers for nearby objects to identify them. Other companies claim that it provides redundancy in the event of failures.
The US government is taking a renewed interest Tesla. Recently, it announced that it was looking into incidents involving Tesla cars using Autopilot and colliding with parked emergency vehicles.