delivered its “beta button” on Friday, bringing the next level of autonomous driving to its car owners. Regulators are not happy.
With the ‘beta button’, Tesla owners (ticker: TSLA) can now request the most sophisticated version of Tesla’s autonomous driving software, dubbed Full Self Driving or FSD, with just the touch of a finger. The button went live on Friday.
Tesla’s new system will do things like make left turns for the driver. Tesla has already let some drivers test the system. There are many videos of testers that examine the capabilities and issues of the system available on YouTube.
Just pushing the button isn’t all Tesla drivers have to do. The button does not automatically grant access to the new version. Tesla judges driving behavior for a week before the upgrade is activated.
Regulators have expressed nervousness about the launch and have called a security feature a “beta” release. But beyond that, not much has happened. Investors can expect more to happen in the coming weeks, including videos, tweets and stories about Tesla’s full autonomous driving software and what regulators are saying about it.
Tesla did not respond to multiple requests for comment on FSD, but the company has said in numerous public forums that it believes FSD software makes its vehicles safer to drive.
Tesla FSD is a Level 2 autonomous driving system. Level 2 means that drivers must watch the road at all times. The new version is the same kind of system. This makes driving easier and more convenient, but there is no system that allows drivers to completely stop paying attention to driving. That’s what Tesla and the rest of the auto industry want to achieve in the years to come.
Tesla stock, for its part, is at its highest level in months. The shares closed 2.8% higher at $ 774.49 on Friday and are now up around 10% in 2021, just behind comparable gains in the
Dow Jones Industrial Average.
But all of these gains have come recently. Tesla stock has risen 15% in the past three months.
Write to Al Root at [email protected]