Tesla implements steps to slowly introduce full self-driving capabilities

How will Tesla begin to roll out their full self driving (FSD) capabilities to their vehicle fleet? A systematic approach is surfacing as Tesla carefully begins the process. To that end, for months now, we've been waiting for Tesla to release “the button” that would allow owners to access beta versions of FSD software. The time has finally come and the button is out, but you have to prove you’re a safe driver first.

For the longest of times, FSD beta software has been limited to a handful of drivers in Tesla’s early access program. Of course, many owners have been curious about the bleeding edge versions and have wanted to try out the newest versions themselves.  Earlier this year, Musk announced that Tesla would push an update that would allow regular owners to opt-in to receive the beta FSD software.

This accomplishes two things. It allows owners some fun new features to play with, and, it gives Tesla a wider sample size for its beta software. In classic Tesla fashion, the button had a lot of “2 weeks from now” deadlines that came and went. But finally, with the recent 2021.32.22 Tesla software update, the button was pushed out.

But not every FSD-capable Tesla owner is immediately going to be able to use the software. Tesla wants to make sure that the early updates are given to attentive and safe drivers. So while the button is out, Tesla will determine if you are a safe driver or not, and then (if they deem you're ready) the company may allow beta software to be pushed. 

To quantify how safe you are, Tesla has come up with the Safety Score (Beta). Tesla’s safety score collects your driving data for the past 30 days and assigns it a score between 0 and 100, with most drivers scoring 80 or above.

Above: Wall Street Journal provides their overview of the FSD rollout process that's currently unfolding among Tesla owners (YouTube: George Downs / WSJ)

The safety score is determined scoring five different safety factors. The five are: Forward Collision Warning per 1,000 miles, Hard Braking, Aggressive Turning, Unsafe Following, and Forced Autopilot Disengagements. As with most things in Tesla, the safety score will most likely be tweaked and different metrics might be added.

Regardless, all of these these safety factors are plugged into a Predicted Collision Frequency (PCF) equation that gives you the final 0-100 score. 

Also, events that take place while Autopilot is engaged (other than Forced Autopilot Disengagements) will not impact the safety score. So if you experience hard braking while Autopilot is engaged, it will not be a demerit.

As expected, Tesla is using a systematic approach to introducing increasingly sophisticated versions of their software with FSD capabilities. It makes sense to start with the safest and most attentive drivers first. From there, we'll begin to see a wider rollout to Tesla's fleet.


An earlier version of this article appeared on EVBite. EVBite is an electric vehicle specific news site dedicated to keeping consumers up-to-date on any developments in the ever-expanding EV landscape. Revised update edited by EVANNEX.