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The beta version of Tesla's much-hyped "Full Self-Driving" technology will not be rolled out on October 1 as previously announced. Company co-founder and CEO Elon Musk explained that the launch has been delayed by a week to coincide with the release of new software.
Posting on his personal Twitter feed, Musk explained he wants to wait until the next evolution of the "Full Self-Driving" software is ready before making it available to a wider group of users. Version 10.2 is expected to benefit from improvements made by analyzing the data generated by the users currently testing 10.1. These motorists are company employees and a small, hand-selected group of eligible owners.
Only owners who paid for the "Full Self-Driving" option will be eligible to receive the update, but there's a catch: they need to prove that they're good drivers. Tesla will take into account what it calls a Driver Safety Score, according to Car & Driver, which analyzes a number of factors including hard braking, aggressive turning, and unsafe following. Interestingly, the number of times the company's current "Autopilot" advanced adaptive cruise control system disengages itself influences the score as well. Musk noted that, for the first few days, only drivers with a perfect score of 100 will be granted access to the software. The minimum safety rating will drop over time; "then 99, 98, etc," the executive noted. Some drivers say scoring 100 on Tesla's scale is tough.
Regulators will undoubtedly keep a close eye on how Tesla rolls out "Full Self-Driving," which in spite of its name still requires "active driver supervision and does not make a vehicle autonomous." In September 2021, in the midst of an on-going federal investigation sparked by an alarming number of accidents with parked emergency vehicles, the head of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) cautioned that Tesla needs to address basic safety issues before expanding its suite of semi-autonomous driving features to other city streets and other areas. She added that Tesla "has clearly misled numerous people to misuse and abuse technology."
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