New Wave of Tesla FSD Beta Testers Is About To Learn an Expensive Lesson

A freshman FSD Beta tester learned a costly lesson as their Tesla crashed the first time they tested the automated driving features. A long and heated debate started about who was to blame for the accident.
Tesla allegedly on FSD Beta hits the curb during an U-turn 6 photos
Photo: u/throwaway64705413 via Reddit | collage
Tesla allegedly on FSD Beta hits the curb during an U-turnTesla allegedly on FSD Beta hits the curb during an U-turnTesla allegedly on FSD Beta hits the curb during an U-turnTesla allegedly on FSD Beta hits the curb during an U-turnTesla allegedly on FSD Beta hits the curb during an U-turn
Tesla's Full Self-Driving software has been harshly criticized not as much for its performance but mostly for its name. Many argue that self-driving means the car drives itself, and adding "full" to its name is basically a guarantee that you don't need to bother anymore. Taking the FSD Beta's name too literally caused many crashes, some with tragic consequences.

For its part, Tesla makes it very clear that the system is not meant to be used without human supervision. Starting from the moment you enroll in the program, you have to agree to draconic terms of use, which are there to ensure Tesla is off the hook if something bad happens while the software is thought to be in control. Not only that, but Tesla changed the wording on its website to say that FSD Beta is a Level 2 driver-assist system, nothing more. Still, this didn't stop people from showing off their car's newly acquired superpower, essentially putting their and others' lives in the hands of God.

This would only worsen as Tesla opened the program to new owners in North America with the latest software update. For a long time, the FSD Beta program was only offered to select technology geeks with irreproachable conduct behind the wheel, proved by the high Safety Score. This has made the FSD Beta software appear relatively safe because most people using it were responsible drivers. Things change when folks from all walks of life are given the same privilege.

This happened last November, the first time Elon Musk announced that the FSD Beta program is open to everyone who bought the option. The same day, a new FSD Beta tester experienced a phantom braking event while driving on the I-80 east of the Bay Bridge in San Francisco. The car abruptly slowed to 7 mph (11 kph), surprising the driver, who couldn't override the braking by accelerating. Others driving behind were just as surprised. Eight vehicles were involved in the crash, injuring nine people, including a two-year-old child. The investigation confirmed that the FSD Beta was engaged at the time of the crash.

On May 22, Tesla released the 2023.12.10 update to all its vehicles in North America, which also included the FSD Beta V11.3.6. This marked the moment the FSD Beta program was again open to everyone who bought the option or paid for the $199 monthly subscription. And with this, a new wave of inexperienced FSD testers got to test the controversial software. And, as you'd expected, things didn't always go as expected.

User u/throwaway64705413 shared on Reddit their story, which fortunately only resulted in damage to the car. Based on their words, the first time they used FSD Beta, the software drove the car into a U-turn lane but failed to slow down as necessary. The car hit the curb hard, ruining the tires and rims and, undoubtedly, causing more damage to the suspension. Since the video was downloaded from the Tesla Dashcam, it's impossible to verify their story or whether the car was even driving on FSD Beta at the time. It wouldn't be for the first time a Tesla owner thought they activated FSD Beta when they only used driver-assist features instead.

The video generated a heated debate on who's to blame for the accident. Naturally, being shared in the RealTesla subreddit, many criticized Tesla and the unfinished software. Others pointed out the disclaimers, which clearly tell that the driver should always be in control. We're curious to know your opinion on this, based on the video linked below.

So my tesla model y just crashed into a curb due to FSD.
by u/throwaway64705413 in RealTesla
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About the author: Cristian Agatie
Cristian Agatie profile photo

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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