Tesla starts rolling out its long-delayed Full Self Driving version 9 beta

by Joseph K. Clark

Tesla just delivered one of the most extensive upgrades to its Full Self Driving software in a long while. The Verge reports that Tesla is rolling out FSD beta version 9 to Early Access Program users, and it’s a sizeable upgrade. Despite the long-standing name, it’s not full autonomy, but it enables numerous Autopilot drivers to assist off-highway (such as lane changes and turns) while delivering many fixes. You’ll also see revamped visualizations that offer “additional surrounding information” and otherwise give a better sense of what the car sees.

The update simultaneously references a recently-activated feature that uses the cabin camera to make sure you’re paying attention while Autopilot is engaged. Regardless of improvements, Musk urged beta testers to “please be paranoid” and be ready to take the wheel at a moment’s notice.

Driving version 9 beta

Version 9 has been a long while in coming, as The Verge noted. Tesla first promised to begin activating FSD features in August 2018, and Elon Musk vowed to have “over a million” cars driving themselves in 2020. Clearly, that didn’t pan out — even a tiny beta from October of that year didn’t come close to letting you keep your hands off the wheel. This latest release suggests some progress, even if it’s unlikely that accurate autonomous driving will be ready shortly.

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