Tesla is finally sending out over-the-air software updates for the much-delayed “Full Self-Driving” beta version 9. This update is supposed to be a much-advanced driver-assist system. Thousands of Tesla owners have already purchased the FSD option access to the Beta version 9. This enables drivers to use the Autopilot’s advanced driver-assist features on both local and non-highway streets.
After almost 2 years’ delay, Elon Musk Earlier claimed “FSD 9 beta is shipping soon.” earlier this month. When asked about the readiness of the update, Musk responded, tweeting that “Beta 9 addresses most known issues, but there will be unknown issues, so please be paranoid. Safety is always a top priority at Tesla.”
Release notes included warnings for testers which read, “it may do the wrong thing at the worst time”. It also asked owners to avoid complacency. There have been improvements to the cabin camera’s driver monitoring to check the driver’s attentiveness. Additionally, there are updated and larger visualizations on the in-car display.
Tesla on Security
Tesla wants to test the beta versions of its Autopilot driver-assist feature on its customers. They want to gather data and work on any bugs early on. Tesla owners are more than ready for this, often tagging his Twitter handle with the Early Access Program for beta testers. Tesla is emerging as a leader in autonomous driving. Certain shortcomings have kept it from being defined as a self-driving car.
Tesla has continuously refused to adopt a more robust driver-monitoring system (like infrared eye-tracking). More recent updates show that Tesla might be willing to take measures to ensure that drivers follow safety protocols. Autopilot still requires drivers to keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road.
Autopilot: Far from Perfect
Consumer advocates have proof that suggests Tesla’s system can be tricked into thinking that there is a driver in the driver’s seat easily. This gained even more traction after the Tesla crash in Texas. Authorities highlighted the absence of a driver behind the steering wheel.
Tesla owners have been abusing Autopilot whenever they get a chance. They have gone as far as sleeping off while the vehicle speeds down a crowded highway. A Canadian man was charged for sleeping while his Tesla drives at 93mph. Since its introduction in 2015, Autopilot has been involved in at least 11 deaths in 9 crashes in the US. An additional 9 deaths in 7 crashes have been reported internationally. US Government might soon tighten the leash on car companies using Autopilot technology.