Tesla Update Might Make Full Self-Driving Truly Hands-Off

Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) set of features allows the automobile to essentially drive itself in certain scenarios. A security feature is keeping drivers from going completely hands-off, though, but CEO Elon Musk said drivers will soon get the choice to disable it.

The feature in query is the steering wheel nag, which requires the driving force to consistently keep their hands on the steering wheel; in the event that they don’t, the automobile asks them to maneuver the steering wheel a bit every so often to be certain that they’re being attentive.

Recently, a Twitter user suggested (via Teslarati) that “users with greater than 10,000 miles on FSD Beta ought to be given the choice to show off the steering wheel nag,” and Musk agreed, saying that an update (presumably bringing this functionality) is coming in January.

With this update, Tesla drivers should find a way to activate FSD and completely keep their hands off the steering wheel while the automobile drives itself. Some owners have expressed enthusiasm in regards to the feature on Twitter, though it could raise more questions on whether FSD is mature enough to be allowed on public roads.

Tesla has one other method to be certain that whether the driving force is being attentive – the built-in cabin camera which should issue warnings and even employ the brakes if it detects an inattentive driver. There are a few problems with this approach, nevertheless. First, not all Tesla vehicles have the cabin camera, which could mean that owners of those cars simply won’t get the choice to show off the steering wheel nags.

More importantly, a Consumer Reports report dated Dec. 2021 (and updated June 2022) found that Tesla’s camera-based driver monitoring wasn’t an adequate solution for ensuring the driving force is listening to the road, though it’s unclear whether Tesla has improved the system since.

Tesla’s FSD (still designated as “beta” by Tesla) is a set of features that permits the driving force to enter a destination into the automobile’s navigation system, and have the automobile drive there by itself, though it requires the driving force to be attentive and able to take over in any respect times. FSD was initially made available to a really small subset of users, but it surely was later expanded to drivers who satisfy Tesla’s “Safety Rating” requirements. Last November, nevertheless, it was made available to all users whose Tesla cars have the hardware to support it.

FSD has also gotten Tesla into trouble, with regulators investigating issues similar to phantom braking. A Tesla driver recently told California authorities that his automobile’s FSD tech malfunctioned, causing a crash involving eight vehicles on the San Francisco Bay bridge in November 2022. As of Dec. 2022, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was looking into 41 crashes involving Tesla cars where a few of Tesla’s autonomous driving features were engaged.

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