Tesla to slow down FSD Beta releases as program adopts intense focus on safety

Credit: AI DRIVR/YouTube

Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Beta is getting better quickly, with some testers observing that the current 10.3.1 iteration of the advanced driver-assist system is undoubtedly the best one yet. But with the improvements of FSD Beta also comes an expansion of the program to more drivers. And in this light, Tesla CEO Elon Musk seems determined to keep things as conservative as possible, at least from a safety standpoint.  

This may seem quite out of character for the bold CEO, who is known for his hyper-aggressive timetables. But FSD Beta is not a regular product. It is a system that could very well transform the roads into something far safer than what they are today — provided that it gets approved by regulators for widespread use. With this in mind, it is perhaps not that surprising to see Musk noting that while FSD Beta will get “superhuman good in upcoming releases,” Tesla would also slow down the upload rate of releases moving forward. 

To state that there are entities salivating at the thought of FSD Beta falling on its face is an understatement. Tesla critics are abounding, and skeptics of the company’s driver-assist programs are firm in the notion that Autopilot and FSD are unsafe. As per Musk, however, plans are still underway to release FSD Beta to drivers with a Safety Score of 98 and above Friday afternoon next week. But despite this, Tesla would also be ready to pause uploads of the system if concerns emerge. 

According to Musk, if concerns do emerge, uploads of FSD Beta’s upcoming iterations would be paused while the company investigates. The Tesla CEO added that an investigation might take a few days, but it would likely be worth it to keep the FSD Beta program as safe as possible. As an afterthought, Musk noted that the upcoming FSD Beta 10.4 update should improve left turns across fast traffic and stopping for gates. 

There are currently over 38,000 Americans who perish every year due to automobile crashes, as per data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The CDC further notes that an additional 3 million people are injured annually as a result of automobile crashes. These are the numbers that Tesla is trying to reduce with its Autopilot and FSD programs. And so far, things seem to be going well for the EV maker. 

As per Tesla’s Vehicle Safety Report, the company recorded one crash for every 4.41 million miles driven in which drivers were using Autopilot in the second quarter. Even Tesla drivers who were not using Autopilot only recorded one crash for every 1.2 million miles driven in Q2 2021. In comparison, the NHTSA’s most recent data notes that there is an automobile crash in the United States for every 484,000 miles traveled. 

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Simon Alvarez: Simon is a reporter with a passion for electric cars and clean energy. Fascinated by the world envisioned by Elon Musk, he hopes to make it to Mars (at least as a tourist) someday.
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