Musk tantalizes with the prospect of a complimentary trial of Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) in North America. The ambitious CEO outlined a tentative plan to expand the accessibility of the advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) across North America and the rest of the world.
Elon Musk tweeted on Monday, expressing his vision: “Once FSD attains remarkable smoothness, not just safety, we will introduce a one-month free trial for all vehicles in North America. Scroll down to read more.
Subsequently, we shall extend this trial to the global stage, ensuring its optimal functionality on local roads and obtaining regulatory approval in each respective country.”
Contrary to its name, FSD does not grant complete autonomy to vehicles. While the latest beta software version automates certain driving tasks on highways and city streets, it still requires the driver’s attentiveness and intervention to assume vehicle control whenever necessary.
Elon Musk did not specify a precise timeline for expanding FSD availability beyond North America. Since November, the $15,000 FSD add-on has been accessible to “anyone who requests it” in North America. The rationale behind the proposed free one-month trial for all Tesla vehicles in the continent is not explicitly outlined, but two key reasons are likely driving this decision.
FSD, which operates on the backbone of deep neural networks, is technically still in the beta phase. Consequently, it relies heavily on vast data for training and improvement. Check the latest update of new Battery Factory by Tesla.
By introducing FSD to every Tesla in North America, even if only for a month, the automaker can amass a substantial volume of driving data while simultaneously building anticipation and excitement for the software and its capabilities. This approach can be likened to Tesla offering a complimentary sample of ice cream, enticing customers to indulge in a full scoop.
Over the weekend, Musk tweeted, shedding light on the challenges faced by FSD’s development: “We conduct extensive testing through simulations and employ quality assurance drivers. However, the reality is far more intricate.” He shared this alongside the news that the latest FSD version would soon be deployed to Tesla employees.
Additionally, Musk tantalized enthusiasts with hints about the forthcoming FSD version, promising the integration of “end-to-end AI.”
Outside of North America, Tesla’s ability to provide FSD access to drivers has been hindered by more stringent regulations. Drivers in these regions can access Autopilot, Tesla’s standard ADAS, which encompasses lane-keeping assist, automatic braking, and navigation assistance for on- and off-ramps. However, this version of Autopilot is a scaled-back variant, and FSD is still not approved for use on public roads.
Nonetheless, the European Commission has recently taken steps to accelerate the regulation of ADAS. Efforts are underway to finalize new regulations by September 2024, with the possibility of earlier deadlines and opportunities for pre-deployment testing of systems.