Tesla has unveiled its much-anticipated Full Self-Driving (FSD) feature in beta mode, which will allow select Tesla owners to experience the next phase of autopilot software. However, the company has warned drivers that the feature requires extra caution and that they should not take their hands off the steering wheel or pay attention when using it.
The new update is referred to as "Autosteer for city streets" and extends the previous automatic driver assistance, but is not yet considered to be completely autonomous self-driving. The software essentially includes the previous “Navigate on Autopilot” functions for driving on freeways on city streets as reported by The Drive. It now enables Teslas to perform complex automatic maneuvers, such as: B. Follow a predefined route between two points, including turning, stopping at traffic lights, and moving around obstacles like other vehicles.
FSD beta program starts & # 39; s. Hell yeah pic.twitter.com/dNVGlwyYv6
– Tesla Owners Silicon Valley (@teslaownersSV) October 22, 2020
The software interface image shared by the Tesla Owners Silicon Valley Twitter account has more details about the system and a warning. "Full Self-Driving is in the early beta version with restricted access and must be used with additional caution," the screenshot reads. “In the worst case, you might be doing the wrong thing. So you always have to keep your hands on the steering wheel and pay special attention to the road. Don't be complacent. "
The safety of autopilot systems was the focus of interest, with groups such as the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) expressing concern about the attentiveness of drivers when using such systems.
In a statement to The Verge, the NHTSA warned: “As we have consistently found, no vehicle on sale today can drive itself. The most advanced vehicle technologies available for purchase today provide driver assistance and require an always attentive human driver who performs the driving task at all times and monitors the surroundings. Misuse of these technologies at least distracts driving. Every state in the nation makes the driver responsible for the safe operation of the vehicle. "
There have been incidents where Tesla drivers abused the autopilot feature, resulting in crashes when drivers focused on their phones rather than the road. There have also been fatal crashes with a Tesla with autopilot activated.