When Will Tesla Cybertruck Owners Get a Taste of Full Self-Driving?

Tesla Cybertruck can't run FSD software for now 8 photos
Photo: Tesla, @GoodladAndrew via X
Tesla Cybertruck user interface modeled in FigmaTesla Cybertruck user interface modeled in FigmaTesla Cybertruck user interface modeled in FigmaTesla Cybertruck user interface modeled in FigmaFSD Beta V12.1 going wideFSD Beta V12.1 going wideFSD Beta screen
With every change in the FSD computer and sensor suite, Tesla needs to recalibrate everything, which takes time and leaves new owners in the dark. The latest to suffer are Cybertruck owners, who still don't know when their trucks will get self-driving features. The problem is that they might not get them anytime soon because the Cybertruck is too low volume to matter, and Tesla is prioritizing its resources elsewhere.
Tesla's Full Self-Driving capability depends on an array of input sensors, which are now mostly cameras, and a processing unit, which is known as the Autopilot computer. The accuracy of the data gathered influences the computer's decisions, which is why the calibration process is crucial for any change in the sensor suite. This doesn't only include new sensors added or old ones removed but also the changes in quality (think of higher resolution cameras in HW4 vehicles) and placement.

This is why it took a lot of time until Hardware 4 vehicles started to use even the basic driver assistance functions. Although the first Model S and Model X vehicles with HW4 computers and sensors were delivered to customers in March 2023, the cars were mostly "blind" until June, when Tesla activated Vision Park Assist. It took another three months until FSD Beta was activated on these cars. Tesla took all the time it needed to refine FSD Beta behavior on the newer hardware before rolling it out to customers.

If you wonder how things are calibrated with a new sensor suite, remember how the Tesla Semi and Model S prototypes were tested with strange sensors on their roofs or the hood. These are reference sensors, sometimes using alternative methods (like lidar and radar) to validate that the Autopilot computer interprets the signals received from the cameras with the correct distance/vector/speed information.

However public the Cybertruck testing was in the past year, we haven't yet seen a Cybertruck doing such sensor calibration testing. This explains why the electric pickup truck still can't run FSD software. It's safe to assume that it will take a while before the latest self-driving features will be turned on. How long depends on Tesla, but given the modest number of trucks on the road, fixing FSD for the Cybertruck might not be a priority.

This has been recently confirmed by Elon Musk, who said that the Cybertruck is "the lowest priority" for the FSD team. The electric pickup started deliveries on November 30, last year, and rough estimates based on the customer VINs indicate that Tesla has delivered about 600-700 units so far. Elon Musk compared this with the total number of other Tesla models in use, which is about five million. Of course, not all are in North America, where FSD Beta is offered, but half of them are.

This begs the question of when Tesla will activate FSD Beta software on the Cybertruck. If it takes the same time as the refreshed Model S/X, this might happen in the summer. I believe it will take more, considering that the Cybertruck is an entirely new vehicle, and it also comes with a different set of cameras. By then, if Tesla doesn't botch Cybertruck production, there should be more than 100,000 Cybertrucks on the road already—plenty of reasons to prioritize.

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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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