As of late, CEO Elon Musk has been getting a great deal of media coverage for his space travel voyages. Yet, going where no one has gone before, whether it’s now or in the future, may be taking his eye off what is happening to his motor vehicles, potentially not-so-safely on the ground.
After six months of promises by Tesla’s CEO, Full-Safe Driving (FSD) beta is about to expand with customers receiving downloads of the newest version of the company’s software. The “upgrade” seems to be in name only as the technology is coming to customers unfinished and not debugged while they take to the open roads.
Placing too much trust in technology
To his credit, Musk has been vaguely candid about a previous version of the FSD beta, claiming that it is “not great.” Apparently, the current version is a “premium package,” as opposed to the standard Autopilot. FSD seems to work so well that operating the car could convince customers that they don’t need to drive while engaged when they actually need to pay attention and at the wheel.
Consumers must undergo assessments of their “driving behaviors” over seven days as determined by the Tesla insurance calculator before receiving beta access. Lack of care or outright neglect that leads to accidents could result in the driver being barred from accessing the feature.
The correspondence reveals the company referring to the newest Beta features as a Level 2 driver assistance system, not fully driverless technology. Mixed messages combined with misconceptions over the autonomous operation and a lack of vigilance could create a dangerous and deadly false sense of security.