Recently, Tesla released its Full Self Driving Feature to early buyers of the feature. This feature is the most advanced Tesla algorithm that helps the car drive on its own. The Autopilot and the Full Self Driving (FSD) are two distinct features. The Tesla Autopilot works mostly on highways where the environment has very few sudden changes.
Tesla Rolls Out the Anticipated Full Self Driving Button
The new Full Self Driving feature button will also function on city streets where there are a lot more variables. These variables have made the FSD software complex. Tesla introduced the FSD button only in the United States last month. On the label, the button reads ‘Request Full Self Driving Beta’. When pressed, the car asks you for a location and tries to drive you there autonomously. Regardless of the self-driving feature, the driver must always be attentive as the software is not perfect and is prone to error.
To achieve this amazing feat many systems are working with each other. There are cameras and sensors on all sides of the vehicles. These cameras are providing video feeds to an advanced computer that is processing this data in real-time. After the data is processed, the computer that is the artificial neural network is providing signals to the driving mechanism of the car. These signals control the motion of the vehicle. The computer drives just like an extremely careful driver.
Since FSD software is still nascent it doesn’t have adequate data to perform optimally. In some cases, the vehicle asked the driver to take over when it saw some leaves on the driveway. Many such cases have taken place since Tesla released the feature.
The Full Self Driving feature was available to a select few until a few weeks ago. Version 10.1 of the software will be available to a much wider set of people. There are a few hurdles before getting the FSD feature in your Tesla.
AI in Tesla Insurance
Firstly, the owner needs to buy Full Self Driving Feature. The FSD feature costs $10000 dollars so the driver can use it as long as the car is running. The owner can also buy it on a subscription at $199 per month. For cars, older than 4 years the car requires a hardware update to install the software.
Secondly, the owner has to request the full self-driving feature using the screen in the Tesla. This request gets forwarded to Tesla insurance internally. Then Tesla requests the owner to collect their in-car driving behavior. After checking driver behavior thoroughly Tesla Insurance decides whether or not to grant the Full Self Driving feature to the customer. This feels unfair as there are people who have already paid for the software and still not got it. This seems to be Tesla’s way of dealing with its customers as the company is often late to fulfill its commitments.
Not the button I was hoping to see but we are doing this anyway and I have 24 hours to get my affairs in order. pic.twitter.com/gTtWM8Qi1E
— Seth Weintraub (@llsethj) September 25, 2021
Tesla uses driver behavior monitoring software to calculate insurance premiums. The same software will be used to determine whether or not the driver is qualified for the FSD feature. A person can drive amazingly but still not be qualified for the program as they don’t fulfill parameters set by the company. Tesla will monitor driver behavior for 7 days before they give their approval. Elon Musk has stated that using Autopilot will add to the driver’s overall score.
Thirdly, the driver gets the Beta version of the FSD software. The fourth step of the process is the most important one. It is necessary that all the drivers are responsible beta testers as even a single incident in which a person is harmed will be a major setback for self-driving cars. The driver must supervise the car just like a 16-year-old new driver. As a fail-safe, Tesla will be monitoring the driver’s attention using an internal camera in the vehicle. This step is necessary for the company as scrutiny for self-driving software is at its peak.
Department of Transportation is investigating accidents where Tesla rammed into stationary emergency vehicles. Apparently, the Autopilot feature can’t recognize flashing lights as a hazard. Tensions between the government and Tesla are already high and Elon doesn’t want any more problems.
Currently, many users are in the second step of the process. The drivers are driving extra slow and with greater care so that they can get access to the FSD software. After 7 days, the car grades the driver out of 100. Generally, a score above 80 is a good score. This score can be viewed in the car or on the Tesla app. Tesla calls it the Safety score.
Five safety factors impact the safety score of the driver. The factors are Forward Collision warnings per 1000 miles, Hard Braking, Aggressive turning, unsafe following, and forced autopilot disengagement. Details about how these factors affect the overall score are unknown.
Within the coming months, more and more Teslas will be using the Full self-driving feature and providing the company with tonnes of data to improve its software. This will improve the Full Self Driving feature in the long run. The FSD feature is still a limited feature available to a few responsible Beta testers. It is still in the pre-production phase. Exciting days lie ahead for the automotive sector as it transforms from a purely engineering sector to a software-first technology sector.