As most of you know, Tesla has released its "feature-complete" Full Self-Driving Beta to a small group of Tesla owners. This way, they can experience the software, test it, and provide feedback. Fortunately, these beta testers are allowed to post on social media, though we've been told there may be strict rules they have to follow.
Our own Kyle Conner got a welcome opportunity to test the software. He provides a unique four-camera view (above). He decided to remove the in-car audio, so we don't get to hear him talk about the technology, but you can clearly see its successes and failures by watching the video. Hopefully, he'll be able to add the audio back in or make another video, but he's waiting for the go-ahead to do so.
Tesla Raj just posted his recent 360-degree Tesla Full Self-Driving video (below). Unlike Kyle's video, we get to hear Raj talk a lot. We also get to see his car tackle some tough situations with relative ease. At the same time, the car struggles in many situations.
You'll see the technology unable to make lane changes in time to make turns, then turn from the wrong lane. It also stops very short of traffic lights at times, but close at other times. He often has to hit the accelerator pedal or keep the steering wheel in hand since it's hard to trust the car, but more importantly, he doesn't want to confuse or irritate other drivers.
These videos make it abundantly clear that while FSD is a big improvement, it's a long way off from self-driving. It also seems clear that if these drivers weren't being cautious, there would likely be a big price to pay. Thankfully, Tesla is only releasing this to a small group of "safe" drivers, at least for now.
In the hands of the general public, the technology would likely lead to catastrophe. There are just way too many situations and decisions we handle as human drivers that the computer simply doesn't yet understand. Will it save lives? Sure. Will it fail? Clearly. It seems Level 5 is very far off, but we certainly hope we're wrong.
How long do you think it will take for FSD to learn what it needs to learn and become true Full Self-Driving? Are robo-taxis even possible in the near future?