Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Beta has won over automotive industry legend Sandy Munro, who had his first experience with the semi-autonomous characteristic earlier this week with notorious ownership club Tesla Owners Silicon Valley. Munro had one prior experience with Tesla’s self-driving programs, and it wasn’t a pleasant one. However, his first experience with FSD Beta quickly changed Munro’s tune, where he commended the program during a short drive through Northern California.
John of Tesla Owners Silicon Valley had the unique opportunity to show Munro, accompanied by colleague Cory Steuben, the improvements that Tesla had made with the Full Self-Driving suite. A long-time veteran of the industry, Munro has seen numerous driver assistance programs through the years, but none as complex as Tesla’s. The company’s FSD suite is packed with intricate coding to identify objects, a constantly-working Neural Network responsible for gathering information based on driver interaction and behavior, and an always-improving infrastructure thanks to the Neural Net and drivers who utilize the semi-autonomous functionality.
Tesla’s Full Self-Driving suite has been around for several years, but its most significant development was the FSD Beta program’s release in October 2020. Elon Musk announced that a small group of Beta testers would have access to the capability and would hold the responsibility of testing the accuracy and maneuverability of Full Self-Driving in public driving situations.
Through the FSD Beta program, 11 builds have been released, building upon the previous version with more robust features and more accurate navigation without much intervention from the driver.
Luckily, John has been with the Beta program since day 1 and is a constant contributor to the information Tesla receives. Fortunately, this also meant that Sandy Munro was experiencing the most complex self-driving program on Eaarth, giving him a full-fledge sneak peek into what will be available across the board soon.
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While Elon Musk has not announced a specific date for the FSD suite’s full release, the Beta program has been expanded to 1,000 members. Musk is consistent with his predictions that a Level 5 autonomous vehicle will be released by Tesla by the end of the year.
He commented on this during the Q4 2020 Earnings Call:
“I guess I’m confident based on my understanding of the technical roadmap and the progress that we’re making between each beta iteration. Yes. As I’m saying, it’s not remarkable at all for the car to completely drive you from one location to another through a series of complex intersections. It’s now about just improving the corner case reliability and getting it to 99.9999% reliable with respect to an accident. Basically, we need to get it to better than human bio factor at least 100% or 200%. And the business is happening rapidly because we’ve got so much training data with all the cars in the field. And the software is improving dramatically. The — we also write the software for labeling…So I think there could be a whole line of business in and of itself. And then, of course, for training vast amounts video data and getting the reliability from 100% to 200% better than average human to 2,000% better than average human. So that will be very helpful in that regard.”
Check out Tesla Owners Silicon Valley‘s video of Sandy Munro experiencing the FSD Beta below.