Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Beta gives owners the opportunity to test the company’s most recent developments in semi-autonomous driving technology. With 100,000 drivers already in the Beta fleet, Tesla is considering expanding the pool of testers to 1 million, and it could happen by the end of 2022.
CEO Elon Musk, who has sparred with Twitter brass over his planned $44 billion acquisition of the social media platform over the past few days, was in Miami yesterday at the “All In Sumit” tech conference. Musk covered a variety of topics, but among the most interesting was the CEO’s planned expansion of the FSD Beta pool.
“There’s about 100,000 people in the beta, so it’s not tiny,” Musk said during his nearly-two-hour interview, “and we’ll be expanding that to, I don’t know, probably one million people, on that order by the end of the year.”
The Beta program benefits owners by allowing them to have the most recent FSD release, but it also benefits Tesla through the accumulation of driving data. Teslas are outfitted with external cameras that capture imagery necessary for security features like Sentry Mode or semi-autonomous driving functions. The cameras, which are the only mode of object capture on the vehicle after Tesla’s omittance of radar last year, transmit images to the company’s Autopilot team and are then compiled by computers to improve performance by learning the behaviors of other drivers. This is known as a neural net and is not exclusive to Tesla but is a significant factor in the constant improvement of the FSD suite.
The expansion of the Beta program would not only benefit more drivers because of the more extensive inclusion of those who will receive the Over-the-Air software updates, but Tesla’s FSD suite will also become more accurate and complex with every mile driven. More vehicles means more data, and expanding the fleet of potential FSD fleet vehicles will increase data accumulation and comprehension by ten times.
Musk still believes the Full Self-Driving suite will be complete by the end of the year, saying during the Q4 2021 Earnings Call in January that he would be “surprised” if Tesla cannot solve FSD by the end of 2022.
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