Tesla’s Revamped Self-Driving Software Will Go Into Beta Testing Next Week

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Tesla’s long-awaited, revamped Autopilot is moving one step closer to becoming a reality.

After years in development and no shortage of serious setbacks, the California-based electric car giant is set to begin beta testing its new self-driving software next week. Following a complete system rewrite, the select group of chosen drivers will gain access to the update, which will include Full Self-Driving (FSD) mode, a significant advance from previous editions. In April, founder Elon Musk announced that the autonomous feature would be publicly available by the end of 2020, but that deadline is fast approaching.

Getting fully operational is critical for the automaker on more than one front. Not only will it be a boon to the company for being the first major marque to have such autonomous driving widely available, but it is also a necessity before Tesla can deploy the self-driving taxis it hopes to have on the road in a handful of markets sometime next year.

There isn’t any word yet on how long testing will proceed, but it will most likely need to be extensive if Tesla hopes to bring the program to market smoothly. Its many revisions and missed deadlines have raised eyebrows in the auto industry, though not nearly as much as the multiple fatal collisions that have occurred while previous generations of its Autopilot were in use.

None of that news seems to have dissuaded investors, however. Even during the worst phase of the coronavirus pandemic so far, Tesla has performed phenomenally well even as its competitors have struggled. Rally after

Tesla Autopilot Self-Driving Beta Test Will Start Tuesday, Elon Musk Confirms

KEY POINTS

  • Tesla will roll out its FSD feature in a closed beta system test next week
  • The new autopilot software will be available to a small pool of Tesla owners
  • The updated FSD software is expected to include many new functionalities

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced via Twitter on Monday that the company’s autopilot self-driving mode would be made available in a small beta test starting next week. 

The closed beta-test system, which will be limited to a small pool of “expert and careful drivers,” will roll out next week, Car And Driver reported. 

The Full Self-Driving (FSD) feature has undergone a complete reboot and is expected to carry a lot of new functionality. The rewrite also updated the autopilot’s labeling software to enable it to interpret the environment in 4D instead of 2D. 

Based on Musk’s recent descriptions, the updated software will build on its current “traffic light and stop sign control” feature and will likely add turns in intersections and integrate it fully on autopilot. 

“The FSD improvement will come as a quantum leap, because it’s a fundamental architectural rewrite, not an incremental tweak. I drive the bleeding edge alpha build in my car personally. Almost at zero interventions between home & work. Limited public release in 6 to 10 weeks,” Musk said in August.

According to Electrek, the new feature will allow Tesla drivers to monitor their entire journey with zero-intervention. However, they must still keep their hands on the steering wheel and be ready to take control when needed. 

Musk has previously said that he was confident that an advanced autopilot software would allow Tesla vehicles to become less likely to be involved in a severe or fatal crash by at least 10 times the current industry average. 

“That’s a lot of lives saved and