Tesla to Add a ‘Beta Request' Button to its Full-Self Driving Feature Next Week to Open it to More Drivers

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【Summary】​Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk tweeted early Friday that the automaker will add a “beta request” for drivers that paid for and want to try out the beta version of its more advanced Full-Self Driving autonomous driving feature.

Eric Walz    Oct 24, 2021 9:15 AM PT
Tesla to Add a ‘Beta Request' Button to its Full-Self Driving Feature Next Week to Open it to More Drivers
Tesla owners who paid for the company's Full-Self Driving feature will get "beta request" button next week to request access.

Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk has been touting the advanced capabilities of the automaker's latest version of its Full-Self Driving (FSD) for the past year. However,  it is still in beta mode and not many drivers have the chance to try it out, But soon that might change.

Musk tweeted early Friday that Tesla will add a "beta request" for drivers that want to try out Tesla's latest version of FSD version. Musk tweeted that Tesla received "good feedback" from FSD Beta 10 users, so next Friday Musk said that Tesla will roll out FSD version 10.1 that let's drivers request early access.

However there is a catch. Requesting beta access doesn't necessarily mean that Tesla owners will gain access. In addition, the beta button will request permission to assess driving behavior using the Tesla insurance calculator. If Tesla deems that the driver's driving behavior is good for 7 days, beta access will be granted.

Tesla offers its own insurance with rates around 20 to 30% lower than traditional insurance providers. The pricing is reflective of Tesla's active safety and advanced driver assistance features, which are standard on all new Tesla vehicles. But the rates are based on driving data from the vehicle, including speed.

Tesla also offers an option "Autonomous Vehicle Protection Package'' as part of its insurance coverage. It includes Autonomous Vehicle Owner Liability.

Tesla's FSD is a more advanced version of its Autopilot automated highway driving feature. Autopilot is a L2 autonomous system that works on major highways. 

FSD beta extends this capability to secondary roads. It offers automatic lane changes to pass slower moving traffic, Autopark, Summon, Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control and the Full Self-Driving Computer that's required to power the system. It costs an additional $10,000 on top of the price of the vehicle. Autosteer on city streets will be added in the future, according to Tesla's website.

Tesla opened up the beta version of FSD in Oct 2020 to what Musk called "a limited number of people who are expert & careful drivers", most of which were Tesla employees and insiders. Those with early access get to try the more advanced autonomous driving features as Tesla collects data from the vehicle to make improvements to the software.

Once officially launched, FSD will also be continuously upgraded through over-the-air software updates.

However, the launch of the beta version of Tesla's FSD software is being carefully watched by U.S. auto safety regulators.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said last year it was closely watching Tesla's latest beta software. The agency said it's standing by and ready to protect the public against safety risks.

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