How To Join Tesla’s Newly Opened Full-self-driving Beta Program

Opting in isn't as simple as it seems. You have to pay for it, and Tesla will track your driving.

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Elon Musk teased it. The federal vehicle safety agency says more time is needed. The beta for Full Self-Driving is now open to Tesla owners who meet a few important requirements.

As the National Transportation Safety Board points out, the term “Full Self-Driving” is a bit misleading. With FSD on, a Tesla is not fully autonomous. The driver must remain attentive at all times. However, the feature’s name suggests otherwise, according to the NTSB.

Musk, Tesla’s CEO, recently revealed that Tesla owners could not join the beta, which was limited to a few thousand people. First, you must request access via the newly added button on your dashboard and then consent to Tesla monitoring your driving habits. Musk said access is granted only after your driving is deemed safe after seven days of monitoring.

Tesla has not shared a support document explaining how entry into the beta works, but a new page on the company’s website explains how its “Safety Score” is calculated (a function that is still in beta). FSD beta eligibility seems to be determined by this metric.

You’ll want to read the entire document if you’re hoping to join the beta, but here are the basics. Scores are based on a 100-point scale, with better driving netting higher scores. Tesla claims that “most drivers” – which we assume is Musk’s idea of “good” driving – will score 80 or higher.

Based on a driver’s behavior, the score is calculated from a math equation called “Predicted Collision Frequency” (PCF), which predicts “how many collisions may occur per million miles driven.” That rating is directly influenced by the five different safety factors Tesla monitors.
There are extensive descriptions for each of these on the support page, but those five Safety Factors are: Forward Collision Warnings (a type of Tesla alert) per 1,000 miles; hard braking; aggressive turning; unsafe following (aka tailgating); and forced Autopilot disengagement, a safety check where the Tesla automatically turns off self-drive features for the length of a trip after the driver receives three “audio and visual warnings” from their vehicle.

Aside from explaining how Safety Scores are determined, Tesla’s support page offers tips for not screwing up each of the five Safety Factors. Tesla owners will need to be on the newly released version 2021.32.22 of their car’s firmware to use this feature. This is the same firmware update that added the “request beta access” button.

There’s one more catch, Tesla owners: you’ll have to pay for FSD as well. Tesla offers the feature as a $10,000 software upgrade, but customers also have the option of unlocking it with a subscription that costs either $100 per month or $200 per month depending on the version of Autopilot – Tesla’s sub-FSD autopilot feature – your car has.

Those who meet all the requirements should be able to join the beta by installing the latest Tesla software update.

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