Tesla’s latest release of their full self-driving (FSD) 10.2 beta software has been both highly anticipated and highly scrutinized by owners, investors, and regulatory organizations such as the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Initially scheduled for an October 8th release to qualifying Tesla owners, a delay to the FSD rollout was announced early Saturday. The tweet, issued by Musk himself, pushed the release back to “either Sunday or Monday.” No other updates to the release schedule have been provided at this time.
Update: The Beta 10.2 update rollout has started as of Monday morning, rolling out to cars with 100/100 safety score over 100 miles.
Thousands of Tesla owners woke up to disappointment on Saturday following an early morning tweet from CEO Elon Musk. He cited last minute concerns that would delay Tesla’s FSD beta 10.2 deployment until at least Sunday or Monday. The latest release of the autopilot capability was initially scheduled for release to a limited audience beginning October 8th.
More than 1,000 Tesla owners with safety scores of 100 were scheduled to receive the software update; an additional 100-200 owners with safety scores of 99 were also scheduled to receive the release once rollouts to the initial group were complete. The delay comes on the heels of the 10.1 beta release, which Musk previously stated was being delayed to align with the newer 10.2 release.
Safety officials from the NTSB have been skeptical about the planned timing of FSD’s release, previously stating that Musk and Tesla should first address identified safety deficiencies related to the FSD technology. NTSB’s statements are in addition to the already ongoing scrutiny and investigations issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) following several Tesla driver assistance related crashes.
FSD has been undergoing development, test, and refinement for several years. Tesla owners opting into the program have agreed to both having their driving habits monitored as well as signing Tesla-issued non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). These NDAs are designed to prevent any program participants from posting videos and information pointing out FSD flaws.
Despite the name, FSD is not intended to fully replace driver responsibility and should not be viewed as a hands-off autopilot setting. Previous articles have cited Musk reminding users that FSD is not a replacement for being aware, urging them to exercise proper safety and telling them to “…be paranoid.”
Considering the potential for accidents to yield catastrophic results, it’s hard to fault Musk for continuously monitoring the release status and slipping deadlines for technical and safety reasons rather than pushing unfinished functionality solely to meet customer and investor driven deadlines.