Elon Musk mandates 'Full Self Driving' demos for Tesla buyers in North America

SCIENCE & TECH: Elon Musk mandates ‘Full Self Driving’ demos for Tesla buyers in North America

Elon Musk has reportedly implemented a “hard requirement” that potential Tesla buyers get a demonstration of the firm’s “Full Self Driving” technology before receiving their vehicle.

The directive from Musk is the latest sign of Tesla’s long-term bet on the semi-autonomous driving software, which has drawn rave reviews from the company’s fans as well as intense scrutiny by federal regulators who have questioned its marketing and potential risk to public safety.

“Going forward, it is mandatory in North America to install and activate FSD V12.3.1 and take customers on a short test ride before handing over the car,” Musk wrote in a Monday email to employees, according to CNBC.

Elon Musk said the software demos are a “hard requirement” even if they slow down deliveries. AFP via Getty Images

“Almost no one actually realizes how well (supervised) FSD actually works. I know this will slow down the delivery process, but it is nonetheless a hard requirement,” Musk added.

Tesla shares were up nearly 3.5% in early trading Tuesday.

Tesla sells Full Self Driving as an add-on for its vehicles. The software is available for $12,000 at purchase or for a $199 monthly subscription.

Autopilot, a less-advanced version of the driver assistance software, is installed by default on Tesla vehicles.

In a separate X post on Monday night, Musk wrote “all US cars that are capable of FSD will be enabled for a one month trial this week.”

Tesla notes on its website that both Autopilot and Full Self-Driving “are intended for use with a fully attentive driver, who has their hands on the wheel and is prepared to take over at any moment.”

Tesla is doubling down on the software despite concerns from federal regulators. via REUTERS

Neither product makes the vehicle fully autonomous.

Federal regulators have repeatedly expressed concerns about the software and its potential involvement in deadly crashes.

In December, Tesla sent out an over-the-air software update to nearly all of its cars sold in the US that added “additional controls and alerts” prompting drivers to pay attention while using Autopilot.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said at the time that it had investigated 956 crashes that allegedly involved Autopilot as part of a still-ongoing investigation.

“In certain circumstances when Autosteer is engaged, and the driver does not maintain responsibility for vehicle operation and is unprepared to intervene as necessary or fails to recognize when Autosteer is canceled or not engaged, there may be an increased risk of a crash,” the NHTSA said in a release.

Musk and Tesla have aggressively pushed back on regulators. The company has insisted that Autopilot and Full Self Driving are safe when properly used and said it has a “moral obligation to continue improving our already best-in-class safety systems.’’

Source link




Want The Real News
and join millions of other active users