Tesla to Allow FSD Beta Access to Drivers amid NTSB Chair Concerns

On Saturday, Elon Musk, the CEO of the American electric vehicle company, stated that Tesla will allow select drivers to test the beta version of its Full Self-Driving (FSD) software. Musk revealed that first the company will rate the drivers and then decide on the “good” ones. These drivers will be allowed to test the software program. The National Transportation Safety Board Chair, Jennifer Homendy, has raised concerns and voiced the product as “misleading.”

Only those drivers who have procured the $10,000 software upgrade, would be qualified for testing the FSD beta program. There is a possibility that monthly subscribers ($100 to $200) to the purchase will also be given the same opportunity. However, every driver will need to pass the safety monitoring assessment, which will score each of them on a scale of 0 to 100.

The proposed assessment will be to ascertain five factors: forward collision warnings per 1000 miles, hard breaking instances, aggressive turning, unsafe following, and forced disengagements of the Autopilot System.

According to Tesla, the test will combine these factors to estimate whether the Tesla driver’s navigation g could result in a collision later. The vehicle maker has not revealed the score required for eligibility.

Industry experts and regulators, amidst concerns, have voiced that Tesla is being hasty in its roll out. The program is still unfinished and is known to have problems with left turns and roundabouts. There have been reports that the FSD vehicles have at times swung towards pedestrians and there have been incidents of crossing the double yellow lines and ending up it in front of the opposite traffic.

Washington Post reported that Homendy had stated her opinion that Tesla’s product was “misleading.” She feared that it could lead to “further misuse and abuse.” Homendy also said that she would as Tesla’s CEO to “prioritize safety” in the same manner as he has prioritized “innovation and new technologies.” She added that both were equally important components.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been examining the 11 Tesla crashes that have taken place when a Tesla vehicle was using the previous self-driving software programs, AutoPilot or Traffic-Aware Cruise Control Systems. There have been crashes on parked emergency vehicles reported when these programs were used in the Tesla vehicles.

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