Anticipation — An autonomous vehicle story

It’s Monday and this Friday, according to Elon Musk, the long-anticipated “Request Button” is supposed to start rolling out to the Tesla fleet.

The button requests access to Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Beta, something that up to now only existed on YouTube videos from among the couple of thousand of beta testers.

It’s been a long road since August of 2018 when I bought my Tesla Model 3 with the FSD Capability option. I drove from central Virginia to Yellowstone National Park to Denver and back, five thousand miles using Enhanced Autopilot. It definitely helped, but a completed FSD would have made the trip wonderful.

Press reports say that the “button” will grant Tesla access to vehicle telemetry data, so that they can verify that the request comes from a good driver. During the evaluation period, I’ll have Autopilot on all that it can possibly be on, because it drives smoother than I do (according to State Farm’s Drive Safe & Save™ transponder report).

As soon as I get FSD. I’m heading for the INTERSECTION OF DOOM where plain old Autopilot frequently tries to do bad things. One of the reasons that I’m so anxious to get FSD is that regular Autopilot hasn’t improved much in the past two years, with all the development at Tesla going into the new version.

Starting with my Model S from 2016, with self-driving using the old single-camera system, I’ve driven a lot of miles under Autopilot. I have a lot of experience. I think I’m ready to test the new stuff.

Tesla cars manufactured since November of 2016 have, or can be upgraded to have the equipment to run FSD. I understand that FSD is initially limited to the United States and Canada. 900,000 is a rough number for the number of Tesla cars with the necessary hardware that could receive FSD, but only an estimated 11% of owners have purchased it, so at most 99,000 could potentially request the download. Compared the North American vehicle fleet, that’s not a big number. It averages only 33 cars per county.


I got Full Self-Driving Beta 10.8 on Christmas morning, 2021.

Update 2:

I visited the INTERSECTION OF DOOM. It wasn’t pretty.

Update 3:

The INTERSECTION OF DOOM is now handled just fine.

About Kevin

Just an old guy with opinions that I like to bounce off other people.
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