Tesla Owner Explains Why They Turned FSD Beta Off After Waiting Years To Get It

Many Tesla owners in North America have waited for years to get the FSD Beta. While Tesla opened the program to everyone who paid for the Full Self-Driving capability in November, not all who got the software were happy with it. One owner in Atlanta turned the feature off after only six weeks of testing.
Tesla Model X driving on Autopilot 7 photos
Photo: Ian Maddox | CC BY-SA 4.0.
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For years, Tesla offered the Full Self-Driving beta software to only a few owners in the U.S., although it eventually extended the program to Canada. However, the number of people allowed to test the automated driving software was still very limited. To qualify for the beta, a Tesla owner would have needed a very high safety score, a feature that was said to also influence driver insurance premiums.

Nevertheless, as the FSD Beta improved, so grew Tesla’s confidence, and the EV maker let more people into the Beta program. The number of beta testers increased rapidly, and Tesla soon reported 400,000 FSD Beta users. This means all who paid for the FSD Capability, upfront or through a subscription. As of last November, Tesla owners don’t need to request access anymore. They can just flip a switch in their car’s infotainment menu and experience Tesla’s controversial automated driving feature.

The wider rollout didn’t go unnoticed, although it wasn’t as catastrophic as Tesla detractors warned either. A Tesla Model S running on FSD has caused a car pileup on the San Francisco Bay Bridge after what appeared like a phantom braking episode. Fortunately, nobody was seriously injured, and no other notable crashes have happened since then while the FSD was in control of a car.

Tesla’s beta software is not always up to the task, which is something die-hard Tesla fans know very well. Nevertheless, inexperienced drivers who try the feature for the first time might still be caught off-guard when the software makes mistakes. This is likely what happened to the Model S driver in the Bay Bridge crash. But even when no catastrophe occurs, the FSD can still be annoying. One Tesla owner discovered this to his own surprise after testing the feature for about six weeks.

User ATPMSD from the Tesla Motors Club has waited for years to get access to the FSD Beta software. When they finally got it, it proved a nuisance. According to their post, the FSD Beta is “far too timid to be usable,” as if a student driver was in control of the car. The system also hesitates a lot, which might annoy or confuse other drivers. ATPMSD says the FSD Beta “made the overall driving experience annoying and more dangerous,” which ultimately convinced them to turn the feature off.

According to their experience, with the FSD Beta turned on, the car makes speed changes at every speed limit sign, even when only using TACC. Normally the feature can be turned off separately, but not when the FSD Beta is used. Nevertheless, the sudden speed change can alarm the passengers and surprise the people driving behind. Overall, ATPMSD finds the benefits of having the FSD turned on minimal, while the negative impact on driving quality and enjoyment is real.
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About the author: Cristian Agatie
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After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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