Tesla has halted the rollout and availability of its “Full Self-Driving” Beta software following a recall related to the driver assistance technology. The recall affects around 362,000 Tesla vehicles in the US and additional cars in Canada equipped with FSD Beta, including Model S, Model 3, Model X, and Model Y vehicles.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s recall report revealed that Tesla cars with FSD Beta activated could roll through stop signs, speed limits, or stale yellow traffic lights, infringing upon local traffic laws or customs and increasing the risk of a collision. Tesla owners don’t need to transfer their vehicles to a repair shop to have a part swapped out. Instead, the software recall is an over-the-air update.
This isn’t the first time Tesla has faced challenges over the safety of its driver assistance technology. NHTSA and other federal agencies like the Department of Justice continue to investigate Tesla and its various driver assistance features. Tesla has also accounted for more driver-assisted collisions than any other automaker between August 2021 and June 2022.
Though Tesla has said at various times that FSD Beta is close to a fully autonomous driving experience, it is not. “Autopilot, Enhanced Autopilot, and Full Self-Driving Capability are meant for use with a fully attentive driver, who has their hands on the wheel and is prepared to take over at any moment,” says Tesla on its official website.
Reason for the pause
Meanwhile, the company is preparing for its Investor Day event scheduled for March 1, 2023. The event comes amid a slew of controversies and safety concerns over Tesla’s driver assistance technology. This latest development raises questions about the progress of Tesla’s self-driving technology and whether or not it can deliver on its promises of fully autonomous driving.
The indefinite pause on FSD Beta downloads also means that Tesla’s customers who have paid for the feature but haven’t yet installed the software or opted-in won’t be able to access the FSD Beta feature for an indefinite period of time.
As the auto industry moves toward greater automation, the safety of autonomous vehicles has become a critical issue. The pause in FSD Beta downloads shows that, despite the hype around self-driving cars, the technology is still very much a work in progress, and there are significant challenges to be overcome before fully autonomous vehicles become a reality.
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