Tesla (TSLA) Shares Climb 8% as Full Self-Driving Beta Becomes Available Everywhere in North America

UTC by Tolu Ajiboye · 3 min read
Tesla (TSLA) Shares Climb 8% as Full Self-Driving Beta Becomes Available Everywhere in North America
Photo: Depositphotos

The Tesla Full Self-Driving Beta is now available to all North Americans who paid upfront or entered a monthly subscription plan.

Shares of electric vehicle giant Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) closed 7.8% higher after announcing that the Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta is available in North America. In a tweet posted yesterday, CEO Elon Musk confirmed that all persons who previously purchased the feature can now access it. Tesla shares closed at $183.20 after rising $13.29 and added another $1.61 in after-hours trading on the news.

Tesla initially launched the software in 2020 and only allowed access to a limited number of customers. At the time, only customers in the company’s Early Access Program received the update, which allowed them to use the partially automated driver assist system. Tesla launched and restricted access to help detect and fix software bugs.

As of October this year, Tesla’s Autopilot director Ashok Elluswamy announced that the Full Self-Driving software had improved and was being used by 160,000. In October 2021, only 2,000 Tesla owners had access. Since the FSD launch, Tesla has required that everyone with access hit a minimum safety mark graded by Tesla’s in-built Safety Score feature. Another requirement is logging at least 100 miles on Tesla’s Autopilot advanced driver-assist feature. However, there are now reports that Tesla has not enforced these requirements to the letter for people who recently gained access to the feature. Teslarati reported that some owners confirmed the feature despite logging less than 100 miles on Autopilot.

The Tesla Self-Driving Beta Beta

Owners with the feature must purchase it for $15,000 upfront or as part of a subscription plan. The two subscription plans available include a Basic version that costs $199 per month, and an Enhanced version at $99. According to an official Tesla page, the feature allows cars to detect traffic lights and stop signs and respond accordingly. Cars will also be able to match the speed of surrounding traffic and autosteer within a marked lane. Also, the page lists automatic city street steering as an upcoming feature.

However, Tesla warns drivers that the feature still requires that the driver is alert at all times. According to the page:

“The currently enabled Autopilot, Enhanced Autopilot and Full Self-Driving features require active driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous. Full autonomy will be dependent on achieving reliability far in excess of human drivers as demonstrated by billions of miles of experience, as well as regulatory approval, which may take longer in some jurisdictions.”

Although advertised as Full Self-Driving, Tesla’s FSD is a “Level 2” driver assistance system that requires continuous driver monitoring.

Autopilot Probe

Last year, the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) started a probe into Tesla’s autopilot system. At the time, the agency said it recorded at least 11 Tesla crashes with vehicles on autopilot. Back in 2020, authorities received 127 complaints about Tesla cars firing without driver acceleration. The filings complained that these malfunctions caused 110 crashes and 52 injuries.

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