Tesla Finally Delivers Its ‘Full Self-Driving’ Beta 9.0

Elon Musk urged beta drivers to 'please be paranoid' amid Tesla's new beta update.
Chris Young

Tesla finally released beta version 9 of its Full Self-Driving (FSD) system, though its update notes do warn drivers that the software "may do the wrong thing at the worst time," a report by Gizmodo points out.

In stark contrast to that warning, Elon Musk has been tweeting about what the future will bring for FSD, stating that Tesla Vision will soon detect turn signals on other vehicles, hazard lights, police and ambulance lights, as well as hand gestures.

Tesla's beta version 9 is perhaps the most significant update to date to Tesla's FSD Beta program.

It follows the Full Self-Driving beta update in October 2020, which was a core rewrite of Tesla's Autopilot and Full Self-Driving Package, and was touted by Elon Musk as a "quantum leap" update.

The version 9 update was originally slated for 2018, and it has been delayed on several occasions, adding to the famous list of Elon Musk deadlines that haven't been met.

The new update brings Tesla Vision to the forefront, the EV automaker's computer vision system, reducing its previous reliance on radar sensor readings.

Musk says 'please be paranoid' as version 9 rolls out

Screenshots of beta version 9's release notes, shared on social media, show that the new version should be used with "additional caution," and that drivers must be alert at all times.

The notes also show that driving visualization improvements will include the addition of more "surrounding information" on the in-car display. The on-board camera system to determine "driver alertness" will also be improved, with Tesla vehicles using sound alerts to ensure drivers are focused on the road.

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"Beta 9 addresses most known issues, but there will be unknown issues, so please be paranoid," Musk stated on Twitter. "Safety is always top priority at Tesla."

In the past, critics have urged Tesla to change the name of its Full Self-Driving program, stating that the name is misleading and that it could even be dangerous for drivers who believe its capabilities exceed reality.

In order to make the rollout of its system safer, beta version 9 is currently only available to drivers selected as part of Tesla's early access program, with roughly 2,000 participants. 

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