Driving assessment

Elon Musk boldly says to join Tesla’s $12,000 FSD to find out how it performs when asked to share progress data

During Tesla’s first quarter 2022 earnings call, Elon Musk was asked to share data showing the progress of Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) beta program. Instead of sharing that data, however, the CEO suggested that people wanting to gauge Tesla FSD’s progress should simply “join the beta,” which requires purchasing the controversial $12,000 package.

A growing number of people are calling on Tesla to start releasing data that helps track the progress of the Full Self-Driving Beta program, as the automaker keeps missing deadlines to deliver on its long promise that all of its vehicles built since 2016 will be able to get self-driving capability through software updates.

They are simply asking Tesla to share similar data to other companies developing self-driving technology, such as the number of interventions or disengagements per mile, which could help track the progress of the system.

Without the data, everyone has to rely on anecdotal evidence of how the system works based on the individual experiences of people in the beta FSD.

During the conference call following the release of Tesla’s Q1 2022 financial results, Musk was directly asked to release more data on Tesla FSD:

Elon has always provided FSD timelines with less than optimal accuracy. We like the optimism for the 2022 exit, but is there any data 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 that people just try FSD Beta:

The best way to achieve your own rating is to join the Tesla Full Self-Driving beta program where we currently have over 100,000 people enrolled in this program and plan to expand it significantly this year. So that’s my recommendation, join the Full Self-Driving beta program and experience it for yourself and note the rate of improvement with each release. And we release a new version about every two weeks. So – and you’ll see a bit of two steps forward one step back, but overall the rate of improvement is incredibly fast. So that’s my recommendation to come up with your own review, it’s literally to try it.

This is a surprising response given the difficulties of entering the program. You have to buy the Tesla FSD, which costs $12,000 or $200 a month, and then you have to score high enough on Tesla’s driver safety score for Tesla to push the FSD Beta update to you, and even in this case, not all owners get it.

Electrek’s Grasp

As someone who has long asked Tesla to release data on the FSD program, I was happy to see investors push the question and pleasantly surprised that Tesla answered the question.

However, I was stunned by Musk’s response.

Not only did he show no willingness to share data, but he also had the audacity to say “join the program and chart the progress yourself”.

It’s like he can’t even fathom that people would doubt the program to the point that they wouldn’t be willing to pay $12,000 to try it without seeing hard data showing progress.

At this point, it’s almost comical. Tesla could very simply share data from its millions of miles of beta FSD and show how disengagement or driver intervention happens per mile. This would be an easy metric to track over time and in no way comparable to anecdotal evidence and even your own personal experience with beta FSD.

Tesla’s insistence on not sharing this information is starting to look oddly wrong.

In the meantime, Musk is perfectly willing to make bold claims about Tesla achieving self-driving in incredibly short timelines, which Tesla is using to sell more cars.

Musk needs to leave Twitter where his legions of superfans love the FSD beta and join reality where people have serious and reasonable doubts about Tesla’s progress towards realizing a true self-driving system.

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