Tesla gives FSD Beta demonstration to California DMV

Credit: @evamcmillan333/Twitter)

Tesla demonstrated Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta’s capabilities for California transportation officials on Wednesday, October 26, 2022. Tesla’s FSD Beta demonstration would give autonomous vehicle regulators a good basis for self-driving cars in the future. 

Tesla’s FSD Beta demo was held at the Sacramento headquarters of the Department of Motor Vehicles. A few California transportation officials saw the FSD Beta demonstration, including a representative of the Highway Patrol and a deputy secretary with the state transportation agency. 

The DMV also invited three outside advisers to the FSD Beta demonstration, including Bryant Walker Smith, Steven Shladover, and Michael Wagner. According to Bloomberg News, at least two of the outside consultants have shared critical views of Tesla’s Full Self-Driving suite. 

Smith—a scholar affiliated with Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society—stated that California autonomous-vehicle testing rules should apply to Tesla vehicles using FSD. Another advisor, Steven Shladover, believes that Tesla’s use of self-driving is “very damaging.” Wagner is the chief executive officer of Edge Case Research—a company focused on making self-driving cars safer. 

Tesla expressed reservations about the outside advisers to the event before it took place. Tesla’s lead for policy and business development in California, Jennifer Cohen, questioned the DMV’s decision to invite consultants with negative views of FSD to the demonstration.

“I question whether it is appropriate to include your consultants that have made negative public statements about Tesla,” Cohen told the DMV’s autonomous vehicle chief Miguel Acosta in an email. “We have yet to receive any assurance that their bias does not influence DMV’s treatment of Tesla.”

“We appreciate Tesla’s continued assistance in providing information regarding the latest releases and expansion of the Full Self-Driving Beta program and features. Our consultants assist us with our ongoing examination of the technology available on California public roads,” replied Acosta to Cohen. 

Tesla FSD Wide Release

Tesla is preparing for a wide release of FSD sometime in Q4 2022. The company is expected to release “supervised” FSD to drivers who purchase the capability. Supervised FSD means drivers must still pay attention while the vehicle is in motion. 

Elon Musk noted that Tesla’s FSD would not have regulatory approval even with the wide release. He explained that regulatory approval for Tesla’s autonomous driving software would be a separate matter altogether. However, Musk was hopeful that Tesla would release an FSD update next year, proving to regulators that the cars running its autonomous software are safer than the average human driver behind the wheel. 

Currently, Tesla is rolling out version 10.69.3 to FSD Beta testers. The update introduces significant improvements to issues that testers have pointed out to the company. Tesla seems adamant about refining FSD and making sure it works as best as it can before the system’s wide release. It is intently listening to the constructive criticisms FSD Beta testers have shared about the advanced driver-assist software.

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Tesla gives FSD Beta demonstration to California DMV
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