Tesla FSD Beta vs the Tail of the Dragon: 318 curves in 11 miles with zero human intervention

(Credit: CGP Grey)

Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Beta went against one of the most dangerous roads in America: the Tail of the Dragon. American-Irish YouTuber CGP Gray took a Tesla Model 3 to “meet the dragon” at Deals Gap.

The Tail of the Dragon is road US 129, which is bordered by the Great Smoky Mountains and the Cherokee National Forest. It spans 11 miles and has 318 curves with no intersecting roads. 

CGP Grey took his dad’s Tesla Model 3, named Winter, to visit the Dragon’s tail and test the latest FSD Beta update. Tesla rolled out the FSD Beta button a few months ago, allowing qualified drivers to request access to the company’s Full Self-Driving Beta software. Drivers must receive high marks on Tesla’s Safety Score (Beta) System to access FSD Beta.

Based on the video, Winter took the twists and turns of the Dragon as well as any human driver. CGP Grey noticed the vehicle going over the yellow line during sharp left turns, but right turns were very smooth. 

Tesla’s Director of AI, Andrej Karpathy, seemed proud of Winter and FSD Beta after taking on the tail of the Dragon. Karpathy commented on CGP Grey’s video. 

Other than the slightly off-center sharp left turns, FSD Beta didn’t seem to have much trouble with the Tail of the Dragon. Under the control of FSD Beta, Winter was able to navigate down and back up the Dragon’s 11-mile tail with zero interventions. 

The Tail of the Dragon has been called one of America’s best but most dangerous roads for motorcycle and sports cars. Its picturesque and lethal turns attract many thrill-seeking drivers, including motorcycle riders and sports car owners. 

The treacherous road had taken many lives throughout the years. According to Tennessee’s Integrated Traffic Analysis Network, 83 traffic crashes took place on the Tail of the Dragon in 2018. About 75% of the incidents in 2018 were motorcycles, three of which ended in death for the drivers. In 2019, there were 93 crashes, 67% were motorcyclists. Four motorcycle riders died in 2019. 

Watch Tesla FSD Beta take the Tail of the Dragon Below!

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Tesla FSD Beta vs the Tail of the Dragon: 318 curves in 11 miles with zero human intervention
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