Tesla expands FSD access to “anyone in North America who asks” • TechCrunch

Tesla is expanding its “full self-driving” (FSD) beta software “to anyone in North America who requests it from the car’s display,” according to CEO Elon Musk who he tweeted the news late Wednesday afternoon. The deployment of FSD across the continent comes as Tesla faces a potential criminal investigation by the US Department of Justice over false claims related to the company’s advanced Autopilot driver assistance system.

Autopilot comes standard in Tesla vehicles and performs automated driving functions such as steering, acceleration and automatic braking. FSD, which will cost North American drivers $15,000, is an extension of Autopilot that includes functions such as assisted steering on highways and city streets, intelligent vehicle summoning, automatic parking, and recognizing and reacting to traffic lights and stop signs.

Autopilot, and by extension FSD, have come under scrutiny from regulators in recent years following a series of Tesla accidents, many of which have been fatal. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched special investigations into 36 Tesla crashes involving Autopilot since 2016, five of which occurred this year. Tesla has also come under fire from the California Department of Motor Vehicles and drivers who claim the company falsely advertised its Autopilot and FSD self-driving capabilities.

Some Tesla owners and enthusiasts was foreseen the company may enable FSD in all cars since Tesla appears to have dropped the requirement for 100 miles on Autopilot and a safety rating of at least 80 to receive the FSD update. This is a worrying lack of control, given fears that drivers using ADAS are less likely to keep an eye on the road and be alert in the event of a system malfunction. Tesla’s website encourages drivers to keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.

Despite the concerns, any driver who has already paid the big price for Tesla’s FSD will be able to access the software in North America. Tesla previously extended access to FSD to 160,000 owners in the US and Canada in September, and today’s broad rollout lives up to Musk’s earlier promises to get FSD in every Tesla by the end of 2022.

Musk has argued that Tesla could achieve full self-driving by the end of the year, but during the company’s third-quarter earnings it admitted that the FSD would not receive regulatory approval to be driven without someone behind the wheel in 2022 .The move to expand The number of users and possibly giving Tesla’s Dojo supercomputer more data to work on may be one of the reasons Tesla has now chosen to expand.

It may also be a move to ease investor concerns and raise more revenue. Tesla’s stock is at a two-year low and its market value has fallen from $1.2 trillion last November to $574 billion today after Musk’s acquisition of Twitter and the subsequent drama of the company’s overhaul.

The FSD scaling also follows news from Tesla engineers Romi Phadte and Gabe Gheorghian who spoke at BazelCon this week and shared that Tesla has increased the number of FSD simulations per week from around 250,000 in 2020 to 2 million today.

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