December 3, 2021

Green Industry

Tesla wants to share ‘Full Self-Driving’ with other automakers when it has yet to deliver it to people who paid for it


Elon Musk is talking about licensing Tesla’s “Full Self-Driving” software to other automakers, but the company has yet to deliver the feature to Tesla owners who paid for it.

At Tesla’s shareholder’s meeting yesterday, CEO Elon Musk announced that Tesla is considering licensing its “Full Self-Driving” (FSD) software to other automakers:

I think Tesla’s open to licensing autonomy because I think autonomy will be such a significant lifesaver and preventer of injuries that it is not a technology we want to keep to ourselves. So, I think it will be morally right to license it to other manufacturers if they would like to use it.

The fact that the CEO would talk about licensing the software irked some owners as Tesla has yet to deliver Full Self-Driving to anyone, and the beta version, which is only “self-driving” in name, is only in the hands of a small fraction of owners who paid for it.

Andy Slye, a Model 3 owner who purchased the FSD package, commented:

He is referencing the fact that Tesla promised a “download button” for owners who paid for its Full Self-Driving Beta software, but Tesla recently changed it to a “request button.”

The “request button” starts a trial period where Tesla tries to gauge your driving skill with a “safety score” system, that Musk himself admits is not perfect, and then rolls out the FSD beta based on that score.

The CEO recently said that Tesla would start rolling out FSD Beta to the first 1,000 people with a perfect score, and it would then gradually release the software to more people with lower scores.

As we previously reported, there are some issues with Tesla’s safety score system.

Yesterday, when asked about his own safety score, Musk became flustered and could say what his own score was.

He added:

By the way, our safety score calculation is obviously imperfect. That’s why we try to emphasize very much that it is beta, if not alpha in safety score calculation. So, it’s going to get a lot of changes – yes, expect it to improve in its accuracy substantially over time. This is really just – it’s a very early stage algorithm.

It’s unclear how long it will take for everyone who paid for the FSD package to get the beta version, which is again not truly “full self-driving” as the driver is still always responsible for the vehicle and needs to be ready to take control at all times.

Electrek’s Take

If you have solved self-driving, then by all means, talk about the moral responsibility of sharing it with other automakers to accelerate deployment.

But Tesla is not there. At all.

They can’t even share it with owners who paid for it years ago.

I am a fan of Tesla’s technology and the FSD Beta is no exception. I think it’s impressive, but it also has a lot of limitations.

I wish Tesla, and Elon Musk in particular, were just better at communicating what’s happening with the program.

I understand that self-driving is one of the most important technologies that humans have ever worked on.

That’s makes it hard, but it also makes the communications around it very important, and Tesla owners who bought FSD have been let down too many times on that front, in my opinion.

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