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Tesla’s Full Self-Driving beta lands for select drivers next week

Tesla boss Elon Musk has given a date for what will initially be a limited rollout of a beta version of its Full Self-Driving (FSD) software: Tuesday, October 20.

The flamboyant CEO offered the tidbit on Twitter in a response to a tweet from CleanTechnica.

In his message, Musk wrote: “Limited FSD beta releasing on Tuesday next week, as promised,” adding, “This will, at first, be limited to a small number of people who are expert & careful drivers.”

Limited FSD beta releasing on Tuesday next week, as promised. This will, at first, be limited to a small number of people who are expert & careful drivers.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 12, 2020

It’s not currently clear how large the rollout will be, and how Tesla will go about deciding who classifies as an “expert and careful” driver; after all, survey after survey over the years has shown that most people believe they have excellent driving skills. We’ve reached to Tesla for more information and will update this article when we hear back.

FSD offers additional driver-assist features over Tesla’s Autopilot offering. For example, FSD lets you navigate on Autopilot, change lane automatically, park automatically, direct your vehicle in or out of a tight space via a command issued by the mobile app or key, recognize and respond to traffic lights and stop signs, and autonomously navigate city streets.

But take note — Tesla owners who opt for FSD in a Tesla vehicle can’t just kick back and doze off.

“All Tesla cars require active driver supervision and are not autonomous,” the electric-car company says on its website. “With the FSD computer, we expect to achieve a new level of autonomy as we gain billions of miles of experience using our features. The activation and use of these features are dependent on achieving reliability far in excess of human drivers, as well as regulatory approval, which may take longer in some jurisdictions.”

The FSD option currently costs an extra $8,000 after receiving a $1,000 price bump over the summer. Further increases are expected in the future as more features are added to the FSD mode.

Musk said at Tesla’s Battery Day event last month that the company had to perform a major overhaul of the Autopilot system to bring all of its autonomous features up to date for the implementation of FSD.

“We had to do a fundamental rewrite of the entire Autopilot software stack and all of the labeling software as well,” Musk said, adding, “The sophistication of the neural net of the car and the overall logic of the car is improved dramatically.”

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