The release of Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Beta Version 9 has been delayed another week, CEO Elon Musk told Twitter followers early today. The FSD Suite has been primed for a new release for several months, and Musk has hinted toward an imminent rollout of the semi-autonomous driving functionality. However, unexpected delays have occurred on several occasions, and FSD V9’s expected Q2 release is becoming more far-fetched as the quarter comes to a close.
Musk’s Twitter feed is a common place for Tesla owners to receive news from the company’s CEO, first-hand. However, even Musk, who has held the CEO role at Tesla since 2008, can be spotty with his predictions, especially as the automaker continues to navigate through the difficult, and evidently unexpected, bottlenecks that can spring up at what seems like the drop of a hat.
Musk said early this morning that “we [Tesla] need to fix some obvious issues before releasing beta 9, hopefully next week.” This has been a repetitive tone of the Tesla CEO, who says that he’s currently utilizing FSD “Alpha 9” in his personal vehicle.
I’m driving “alpha” 9, but we need to fix some obvious issues before releasing beta 9, hopefully next week. FSD subscription capability should be turning on via the Tesla app.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 25, 2021
Tesla has had some issues narrowing down an exact timeframe for FSD v9’s release, and it comes with the territory. The company has long worked to release a “feature complete” version of its FSD suite, and through the years, the capability has gotten more complex and accurate with its performance. Tesla has also switched up its approach to self-driving, as it recently scrapped radar in its vehicles in favor of a camera-only approach. Known as “Tesla Vision,” the removal of radar, in Musk’s eyes, was the scrapping of a “crutch.”
Musk said during the Q1 2021 Earnings Call:
“I think with the elimination of radar, we’re finally getting rid of one of the last crutches. Radar was really — it was making up for some of the shortfalls of vision, but this is not good. You actually just need vision to work.”
The most recent update to the FSD Beta V9 came on June 6th, when Musk updated Tesla owners with details on what was expected to be V9’s long-awaited release. “One more production release of pure vision this week, then FSD Beta 9 a week or two later. V9.0 FSD is also pure vision. Foundational improvements are immense,” he said.
This would have slotted V9 to be rolled out to customers on June 20th, at the latest. But the update never came, and Tesla owners received their most clarified suggestion from Musk last night, where he said it needed “to fix some obvious issues.”
There could be some bottlenecks with the FSD suite now that the Model 3 and Model Y are operating without radar. While the camera-based approach has been on Tesla’s agenda for some time, there is no indication of whether the transition is causing problems for Tesla’s Autopilot team. Many owners of radar-less Tesla vehicles have indicated that the performance has actually improved, but there is no indication of what exactly is causing the delays once again.