Tesla Full-Self Driving Option Comes Up Empty

Jason R. Sakurai
by Jason R. Sakurai
tesla full self driving option comes up empty

Elon Musk said in a tweet, “All Tesla cars delivered in the final three days of the year will get three months of the Full Self-Driving option for free. Delivery & docs must be fully complete by midnight Dec 31st.”

Tesla touts its vehicles as the safest cars in the world with passive and active safety features to protect both the driver and passengers. Citing their achievement of five-star safety ratings in every category and subcategory in U.S. government testing, it also goes on to say that the Model 3 was found to have the lowest probability of injury of any car tested, followed by the Model S and Model X. Tesla further states that the Model X was the first SUV achieve a five-star rating across the board.

The Full Self-Driving option is the successor to Tesla’s Autopilot, which was deemed less safe than manual driving, according to an article in Forbes. It seems that Tesla doesn’t abide by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) definition of automobile crashes versus accidents as they choose to report. Tesla says that their cars were involved in one accident in every 3.07 million miles driven with Autopilot engaged. Tesla also stated that without Autopilot on, Tesla drivers had one accident for every 2.10 million miles driven due to their advanced safety features. This doesn’t take into account fatalities that have occurred with Autopilot engaged, nor the more spectacular accidents while Autopilot was being used.

So exactly what is Full Self-Driving? According to Consumer Reports, it’s an $8,000-$10,000 option on a Tesla that you may not want anytime soon. “Despite the name, the Full Self-Driving capability suite requires significant driver attention to ensure that these developing-technology features don’t introduce new safety risks to the driver, or other vehicles out on the road,” said Jake Fisher, senior director of auto testing at Consumer Reports. “Not only that, in our evaluations we determined that several of the features don’t provide much in the way of real benefits to customers, despite the extremely high purchase price.”

Inconsistency was the biggest problem encountered with Full Self-Driving, whether utilizing Autopark, Smart Summon, Autopilot navigation, or Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control. Forgetting where your Tesla parked itself previously may be no big thing, but driving in the carpool lane, remaining in the passing lane for long periods (a potential moving violation in Washington state), or driving through stop signs aren’t minor errors. Better not to be a Tesla beta tester, whether for free as Elon announced, or as a costly option.

[Images: Tesla]

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  • AKM AKM on Jan 04, 2021

    As a model 3 driver, I mostly agree. The price of the option is far too high, and its reliance on cameras only problematic. Coming from an older vehicle that had only ABS, ESP, and cruise control, I must say that the basic "autopilot" included in the 3 is nice on highways and traffic jams, as it reduces fatigue. But it's really only a glorified adaptive cruise control. And I still don't trust it in any complex situation, considered it does random "phantom braking". The tesla automatic accident avoidance features are pretty nice, but I cannot compare it to that of other modern vehicles. So overall, a great vehicle, and a shame that Tesla and Musk are overhyping this very imperfect feature rather than focusing on the true strengths of the car.

    • Mcs Mcs on Jan 04, 2021

      @AKM: I agree with you, but the issue isn't related to the fact they only use cameras. In fact, there are huge issues with LIDAR. The real problem is related to inherent flaws in current AI technology. There are new AI theories still under development and until we have it, I don't think we can have a true FSD. Right now, in the advanced AI research community, we're in the process of studying white papers and experimenting with new types of hardware and new AI theory. We're going beyond traditional von Neumann architecture to implement it.

  • Conundrum Conundrum on Jan 04, 2021

    And today Waymo went on record to say: That there autonomous driving stuff is way mo' difficult than a moon shot. https://thenextweb.com/shift/2021/01/04/waymo-ceo-launching-a-self-driving-car-is-harder-than-launching-a-rocket/ Seems to me that thinking commenters on this site have been saving the same thing for years, at least six. No, real autonomous driving won't be out next year, but reporting your every driving second back to manufacturer HQ is here right now. Monitored like a serial killer in cell block D, we all are under surveillance. At least the Chinese know their government follows every fart under their social licence system. Here in the capitalist West we let both private and public interests do the same all the time as well, basically flying under the radar by promoting the "benefits" and obfuscating the privacy issues. We can freely complain about it to our heart's content, but the plutocracy doesn't take any notice and never will - let 'em squeak and complain they say -- in effect your "betters" don't give a fig newton what you say. That's what freedom has become these days. Freedom to complain mightily and have nobody care. Go on, indulge yourself, have a rant, just make sure your payments arrive regularly each month or there'll be trouble. Serfs with smartphones is what we have all become, tuned into whatever echo chamber suits our individual opinions and leanings, while pouring rancid spite on anyone else's echo chamber which has a different POV. Keeping the peons at each others' throats and off balance is classic misdirection, and it works like a charm while the big boys farm the pols for the tax money we all pay in. So whaddya going to do about it? Nothing. Might as well label people you don't like as socialists, that'll get 'em hopping mad, and keep your mind off how you're being rooked left, right and center. Musk lies about everything controversial that smacks of even minor valid criticism of his products or marketing behavior, kind of like an intelligent Mangolini. Autonomous driving is two decades away at least, and sensors are not very good quality on any car with electronic nannies today, let alone the software to integrate their outputs intelligently, unlike a biological entity which does so without even having to think about it -- even a fly spots the swatter on the way half the time. And so, this Tesla FSD horse manure, if you're dumb enough to pay for it on your Tesla, is in actuality a donation to the Elon Musk Foundation. Got nothing bad to say about his entrepreurship in bringing EVs to market, good for him; it's what you have to put up with the rest of the time that's a crashing bore, because it's BS squared. Pretty much all his opinings are. When someone invents a robot that can reliably gather ingredients from your fridge and pantry and make a stack of pancakes without leaving a mess or setting the stove on fire without any human help whatsoever, then real autonomous driving will be ready for prime time. Stardate 43/27.6 I think.

    • Mcs Mcs on Jan 04, 2021

      "When someone invents a robot that can reliably gather ingredients from your fridge and pantry and make a stack of pancakes.." Oh, it's much, much more difficult than that. I could build something like that now. Maybe a robot that could play cornerback in the NFL alongside humans. The problem that needs to be solved is another type of AI. Artificial intuition. Like a cornerback that anticipates where and when a quarterback is going to throw a ball, a proper A/V system needs to anticipate situations. It can't just react as most systems do now. It needs to anticipate problems and avoid them. Bad/inexperienced human drivers just react. Good/experienced drivers anticipate.

  • Lou_BC "Owners of affected Wrangles" Does a missing "r" cancel an extra stud?
  • Slavuta One can put a secret breaker that will disable the starter or spark plug supply. Even disabling headlights or all lights will bring more trouble to thieves than they wish for. With no brake lights, someone will hit from behind, they will leave fingerprints inside. Or if they steal at night, they will have to drive with no lights. Any of these things definitely will bring attention.I remember people removing rotor from under distributor cup.
  • Slavuta Government Motors + Government big tech + government + Federal police = fascist surveillance state. USSR surveillance pales...
  • Johnster Another quibble, this time about the contextualization of the Thunderbird and Cougar, and their relationship to the prestigious Continental Mark. (I know. It's confusing.) The Thunderbird/Mark IV platform introduced for the 1971 model year was apparently derived from the mid-sized Torino/Montego platform (also introduced for the 1971 model year), but should probably be considered different from it.As we all know, the Cougar shared its platform with the Ford Mustang up through the 1973 model year, moving to the mid-sized Torino/Montego platform for the 1974 model year. This platform was also shared with the failed Ford Gran Torino Elite, (introduced in February of 1974, the "Gran Torino" part of the name was dropped for the 1975 and 1976 model years).The Thunderbird/Mark series duo's separation occurred with the 1977 model year when the Thunderbird was downsized to share a platform with the LTD II/Cougar. The 1977 model year saw Mercury drop the "Montego" name and adopt the "Cougar" name for all of their mid-sized cars, including plain 2-doors, 4-doors and and 4-door station wagons. Meanwhile, the Cougar PLC was sold as the "Cougar XR-7." The Cougar wagon was dropped for the 1978 model year (arguably replaced by the new Zephyr wagon) while the (plain) 2-door and 4-door models remained in production for the 1978 and 1979 model years. It was a major prestige blow for the Thunderbird. Underneath, the Thunderbird and Cougar XR-7 for 1977 were warmed-over versions of the failed Ford Elite (1974-1976), while the Mark V was a warmed-over version of the previous Mark IV.
  • Stuart de Baker This is depressing, and I don't own one of these.