Tesla Removes Full Self Driving Beta Over 'Issues'

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
tesla removes full self driving beta over issues

Tesla Inc. pulled its Full Self Driving (FSD) beta off the table over the weekend, with CEO Elon Musk stating that testers had been “seeing some issues with [version] 10.3.”

To remedy the issue, the company has reverted back to FSD 10.2 temporarily. Musk made the announcement over social media on Sunday morning. The following day, he had already promised that version 10.3.1 would be coming out to address problems encountered during the exceptionally short public testing phase.

“Please note, this is to be expected with beta software,” the CEO noted. “It is impossible to test all hardware configs in all conditions with internal QA, hence public beta.”

Let’s get a few things out of the way before we dive into what actually happened. Despite Tesla promising vehicular autonomy via its expensive Full Self Driving suite for years, FSD may not actually be capable of living up to its namesake. Elon Musk has even stated that it probably would always require some form of supervision when feature-complete. At best, that leaves the completed suite achieving conditional automation (SAE Level 3) but falling short on its promise of delivering total self-driving functionality (SAE Level 5).

Had we teleported directly from 1991, even the worst versions of FSD would be a technological marvel. But we’re living in the years following a decade where the automotive industry promised that self-driving cars would be commonplace by 2020. It’s also becoming clear that the trade-offs for implementing unfinished versions of these systems may not be worth it. Manufacturers are advancing driver-monitoring protocols, including cabin-facing cameras that track eye and facial movements that seem to represent the anthesis of a luxurious automotive experience.

There are also mounting legal questions in regard to who is liable when an autonomous vehicle is involved in a crash. Despite reports highlighting the shortcomings of advanced driving aids, the industry would very much like to keep drivers responsible as a way to avoid seeing legal actions being taken against the business. This has also encouraged the influx of monitoring measures while making it imperative that self-driving systems function near perfectly — the latter of which has proven to be exceedingly difficult.

Based on the limited time the FSD beta was active, it’s difficult to get a real sense of what went wrong. However, there are numerous videos of citizens testing the system showcasing some reoccurring issues. Beta vehicles were obviously still having trouble dealing with construction zones and poorly marked lanes. Users also noted that cars became timider while using similar features, asking the driver to retake control under conditions where it previously would not. There were also a few social media postings alleging that their car was making decisions to deactivate certain safety settings without human input.

Reuters reported that drivers were experiencing Forward Collision Warnings when there was no immediate danger, sometimes with their Tesla braking automatically to avoid phantom obstacles. Ironically, that was one of the systems other users were claiming vehicles were mysteriously shutting off.

This may explain why Tesla required beta testers to be subjected to a safety score to qualify. But we’re not about to claim this is the best way for an automaker to operate their software development programs. Withholding access to a system that you paid thousands extra for (and doesn’t even work) because you failed to drive in a ridiculously conservative manner somehow doesn’t seem fair.

[Image: Tesla]

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  • Daveo Daveo on Oct 26, 2021

    if I spent that much on a car and FSD I wouldn't want to be the beta tester for them. Granted it takes a long time to work out all the problems but until it's ready for prime time they shouldn't be charging $10K for something they aren't actually delivering.

  • EBFlex EBFlex on Oct 26, 2021

    Self driving has been a scam from day one. More proof Musk is nothing more than a snake oil salesman (sorry sales person….don’t want to offend the “woke”).

    • FreedMike FreedMike on Oct 26, 2021

      Clearly this socialist hates wealth and job creation.

  • Dusterdude @El scotto , I'm aware of the history, I have been in the "working world" for close to 40 years with many of them being in automotive. We have to look at situation in the "big picture". Did UAW make concessions in past ? - yes. Do they deserve an increase now ? -yes . Is their pay increase reasonable given their current compensation package ? Not at all ! By the way - are the automotive CEO's overpaid - definitely! (That is the case in many industries, and a separate topic). As the auto industry slowly but surely moves to EV's , the "big 3" will need to be producing top quality competitive vehicles or they will not survive.
  • Art_Vandelay “We skipped it because we didn’t think anyone would want to steal these things”-Hyundai
  • El scotto Huge lumbering SUV? Check. Unknown name soon to be made popular by Tiktok ilk? Check. Scads of these showing up in school drop-off lines? Check. The only real over/under is if these will have as much cachet as Land Rovers themselves? A bespoken item had to be new at one time. Bonus "accepted by the right kind of people" points if EBFlex or Tassos disapproves.
  • El scotto No, "brothers and sisters" are the core strength of the union. So you'll take less money and less benefits because "my company really needs helped out"? The UAW already did that with two-tier employees and concessions on their last contract.The Big 3 have never, ever locked out the UAW. The Big 3 have agreed to every collective bargaining agreement since WWII. Neither side will change.
  • El scotto Never mind that that F-1 is a bigger circus than EBFlex and Tassos shopping together for their new BDSM outfits and personal lubricants. Also, the F1 rumor mill churns more than EBFlex's mind choosing a new Sharpie to make his next "Free Candy" sign for his white Ram work van. GM will spend a year or two learning how things work in F1. By the third or fourth year GM will have a competitive "F-1 LS" engine. After they win a race or two Ferrari will protest to highest F-1 authorities. Something not mentioned: Will GM get tens of millions of dollars from F-1? Ferrari gets 30 million a year as a participation trophy.