During Tesla’s Q1 2022 earnings call, Elon Musk was asked to share data showing progress on Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta. Instead of sharing this data, however, the CEO suggests that people who want to evaluate Tesla FSD’s progress should just “join the beta,” which requires buying a controversial $12,000 package.
A growing number of people are calling on Tesla to begin releasing data that helps track the progress of the Full Self-Driving Beta program as the automaker still misses timetables to deliver on its long-standing promise that all of its vehicles built since 2016 will be able to drive Autonomous driving through software updates.
They’re just asking Tesla to share similar data as other companies developing self-driving technology, such as the number of interventions or decoupling per mile, which could help track progress in the system.
Without data, everyone would have to rely on anecdotal evidence of how the system performed based on individual experiences from the people on the FSD Beta.
During the conference call that immediately followed the release of Tesla’s financial results for the first quarter of 2022, Musk was asked directly to release more data about the Tesla FSD:
Elon has historically provided FSD timelines with optimal inaccuracy. We love the optimism for the 2022 release, but is there any data that Tesla can share with investors to help them draw their own conclusions about progress, interventions per mile driven or any other data?
The CEO declined to share anything specific and instead suggested people try the FSD Beta:
The best way to access your assessment is to join the Tesla Full Self-Driving beta program as we have over 100,000 people now enrolled in this program and expect to expand that significantly this year. This is my recommendation, join the full autonomous driving beta program and test it for yourself and note the rate of improvement with each release. We release a new version approximately every two weeks. So – and you’ll see a little bit of two steps forward one step back, but overall the rate of improvement is incredibly fast. So, my recommendation to get to your own rating is to literally try it out.
This is a surprising response given the difficulties involved in getting into the program. You need to buy a Tesla FSD, which costs $12,000 or $200 per month, and then you need to score high enough in Tesla’s driver safety score for Tesla to push you to the FSD Beta update, and even then, not every owner gets it.
As someone who has been calling on Tesla to make statements about the FSD program for a long time, I was happy to see investors asking the question and was pleasantly surprised that Tesla accepted the question.
However, Musk’s response surprised me.
Not only did he show any willingness to share data, but he also had the audacity to say “Join the program and chart the progress yourself” instead.
It’s as if he couldn’t even fathom that people would be so suspicious of the software that they wouldn’t be willing to pay $12,000 to try it out without seeing some tangible data showing progress.
At this point, it sounds almost comical. Tesla can simply share data from millions of miles of the FSD Beta and show how the disengagement or driver intervention is for each mile. It will be easy to track over time and in no way comparable to anecdotal evidence and even your own personal experience with FSD Beta.
Tesla’s insistence that this information not be shared is starting to look suspiciously bad.
In the meantime, Musk is all too willing to make bold statements about Tesla achieving autonomous driving in incredibly short timelines, which Tesla is using to sell more cars.
Musk needs to get off Twitter as legions of his fans shine on the FSD Beta and join the reality where people have serious and reasonable doubts about Tesla’s progress toward a truly autonomous driving system.
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