For those of us in the field of EVs, who already have more experience on the subject, already drive a Tesla, and had the privilege of studying and learning a little more about the characteristics of electric cars and self-driving, the whole situation seems like taken from a futuristic fantasy from a “Blade Runner” movie (even more so, if the FSD applied to the Cybertruck came into the picture, for example, given the futuristic and even a bit controversial tint of that truck design). At the moment, the Beta versions of the FSD V10 are subject to the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y, as far as I have information (I'm not sure that the Models X and S have FSD V10 in beta version, yet).
In the video below, the Tesla was not driven manually by a human for even 1 second. Not even one inch. It went from parking lot to parking lot entirely on its own controlled by software using just cameras to drive the car. Mind blowing, isn’t it? @elonmusk $tsla pic.twitter.com/c2ubcI4TRb— Whole Mars Catalog (@WholeMarsBlog) September 19, 2021
But going back to the beginning: suppose I bring my older brother, or some older cousin, and sit him on the passenger seat of a Tesla Model 3 or Model Y with FSD V10, and I take him from a Starbucks to Grandma's house: all without touching for a single second the steering wheel, the brakes, the gear lever, the signals, or the lights; and all this, carefully respecting traffic signals, traffic lights, traffic flow, permitted speeds, pedestrians and even a garbage can that might have dropped on the street, unexpectedly. Certainly, it would seem like something from some science fiction movie, but it is not: Tesla is in the middle of testing the FSD V10 in Beta version, which does exactly that: take us from site A to site B, without any human intervention, safely and reliably, to the amazement of any common user of “ICE” (Internal Combustion Engine) type vehicles, such as my brother and my cousin.
Good feedback from FSD Beta 10 users! 10.0.1 point release rolling out now. 10.1 rolls out a week from Friday with beta request button.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 17, 2021
Elon Musk tweeted on Friday, September 17, saying that FSD V 10.0.1 would be more widely available as of September 24, although it is already being used and tested by various beta-testers. This extension to other select users will be made after a previous filtering, where the driving characteristics of the potential candidate will be taken into account, and obviously, this choice will be between the owners who have paid the cost of FSD when buying the vehicle. Musk's verbatim words were: “Beta button will request permission to assess driving behavior using Tesla insurance calculator. If driving behavior is good for 7 days, beta access will be granted. "
Beta button will request permission to assess driving behavior using Tesla insurance calculator. If driving behavior is good for 7 days, beta access will be granted.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 17, 2021
It can be clearly seen that there is extensive discussion in social media on the issue of FSD itself, from the ethical implications (such as, for example, the police potentially making arrests based on individual driving skills, or whether the definition of that good-bad individual driving means not having accidents, speeding moderately, respecting traffic signs, etc.) to more financial-related issues, such as the cost of insurance and adjustments to be made based on certain characteristics automatically established based on the data from the FSD itself.
Even on a technical level there are still some issues to be resolved that, although minimal (since the system is really impressive and works almost perfectly at a 99.9%, I would say, based on the reports widely available on-line), could potentially represent an adjustment opportunity for the FSD with daily use, in view that it uses a Machine Learning - Artificial Intelligence system that develops its skills on an on-going basis, as the system is used more and more. But all this would already become a Byzantine discussion, since it is impossible to compare the FSD driving record with any human driving record: the FSD never gets tired, it is never sleepy, does not need to make stops to use the bathroom, go for a drink or coffee, wake up, choose the music for the next section of the road, or worry about the pressure of the tires. With this I am not saying that the driver does not have to be alert at all times and that as a precaution and in compliance with the traffic rules, he does not have to be 100% in a position to control the vehicle; at least, until the system has been tested with a sufficient safety margin based on what is established by the authorities, and until those same regulations approve the operation of the system, which even at this very moment, is clearly superior to any human driver.
Let's not forget that Mr. Musk has just successfully sent theSpace X in the history of the world into space, where the automated guidance and navigation systems work perfectly, even recovering the launchers and making them land on offshore platforms automatically (this too, for the first time in human history). What I mean by this is that Tesla and its entire team of engineers are up to the task, have the technical and scientific capabilities for the challenge, and surely can make the necessary adjustments to the FSD V10 to be approved by the authorities, and adopted by the automotive industry as normal and standard for years to come.
We can only wait for that scenario to become reality, based on what Tesla and Elon Musk have us used to: converting a thing brought from science fiction to a tangible reality, however amazing it may seem to common people.
Nico Caballero is the VP of Finance of Cogency Power, specializing in solar energy. He also holds a Diploma in Electric Cars from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, and enjoys doing research about Tesla and EV batteries. He can be reached at @NicoTorqueNews on Twitter. Nico covers Tesla and electric vehicle latest happenings at Torque News.