After 206 days of my wife and I obsessively using FSD Beta, we have lost access to the software!
I paid $6,000 extra for Full Self Driving when I bought my car in October 2019. (Note: The cost for Full Self Driving with new Tesla purchases has been $12,000 for some time now, twice what I paid for it.) We spent five weeks going crazy before my wife and I passed Tesla’s infuriating safety test. On October 21, 2021, we were able to download the FSD Beta software, but we were only able to activate the software over a month later after passing the safety test on December 1, 2021. Since then, we have obsessively used FSD Beta for 206 days. We were warned that if we had 5 forced disengagements of FSD Beta, we would lose access to it.
You get a forced disengagement with one of the following: 1) If you don’t apply torque to the steering wheel for more than say 60 seconds. 2) If you exceed 85 mph (previously 80 mph) when FSD Beta is active. 3) With FSD Beta, the camera above the mirror looking at your face is activated. If you look at the control screen on your right for too long, if you look down at your phone for too long, or if close your eyes for too long, you get a visual and auditory beep warning. I assume if you persist with this behavior for too long, you get a forced disengagement.
We did our best to not get forced disengagements! Over the last 206 days, I got 3 forced disengagements when I was distracted by traffic and had difficult navigation choices in metropolitan areas. Up to a few days ago, my wife had no forced disengagements. However, on the simple 30 mile rural drive from Three Lakes to Rhinelander, Wisconsin, and back a few days ago, she got two forced disengagements and our FSD Beta access has been revoked. My wife had three small children distracting her and she was wearing a splint on her broken wrist.
When we look at the FSD Beta instructions in the Autopilot sub-menu under the controls menu, it now says: “Your access to FSD Beta has been revoked for recent driving behavior.” It also says your access will be restored with an upcoming software release (not the next software release). What we don’t know is when that release will come. Knowing Tesla, it could be days, months, or even years before we have access again to the software we purchased for $6,000. If anyone has insight on this, please leave information about it in the comments section. I think 206 days with only 5 forced disengagements for a husband and wife driver team is excellent performance. I don’t think it is fair to revoke our FSD Beta privileges. At the very least, there should be something we can do to get our access restored (e.g., pass the safety test again).
Our Tesla has now reverted to standard autosteer and traffic-aware cruise control like almost every other Tesla without FSD Beta. Also, we still have Autopilot on limited access roads and automatic stopping at stop signs and traffic lights.
I am crushed, but resigned, because I know there is nothing I can do about it! I very much enjoyed being part of Tesla’s ~100,0000 customer FSD Beta testing team. I’ve obsessively used FSD Beta for 206 days through 5 updates of the software — V10.5, V10.8, V10.10, V10.11.2.1, and V10.12.2. It was fascinating to see the improvements in the software with the new versions, but even some backsliding (e.g. phantom braking) and some critical failures which were not addressed (e.g., occasional wrong lane choice and navigation failures). There were also performance failures in areas with high traffic density. I have written several articles for CleanTechnica about FSD Beta. Barring getting my access restored, this will be my last article.
What does loss of access to Tesla FSD Beta mean to me?
- I can no longer enter an address or business into the Navigation and have the car drive me there with no interventions (in ideal cases).
- My car will no longer initiate autosteer on roads with no yellow center lines. (There are many roads like this in rural Northern Wisconsin.) There is one case on highway X near Three Lakes, Wisconsin, where the yellow center line ends. Then my car will continue to steer automatically, until it is interrupted for some reason. Then you can no longer initiate autosteer.
- I am reverted to standard autosteer and traffic-aware cruise control that every Tesla driver since 2016 has access to. Instead of always pulling the right stalk down twice to initiate FSD Beta, I now am again pulling the stalk down once for cruise and twice for autosteer.
- When using autosteer coming to a turn marked 15 mph, my car will now bail out in the middle of the turn. The same thing is true in rotaries. With FSD Beta, it would navigate the tightest turns successfully.
- My car will stop at stop lights when the light is red, but will also stop when the light is green unless I give approval with a downward tug on the right stalk.
- When using traffic-aware cruise control, I can no longer set the speed more than 5 mph over the map speed limit. This was especially useful in rural Northern Wisconsin when the map speed limit was too low — say, 35 mph when it should be 55 mph. I now need to keep pressure on the accelerator to go at the correct speed.
- When leaving a 35 mph zone in a town and returning to 55 mph, I must manually adjust the speed back up to 55 or 60 mph. FSD Beta would do this automatically.
- On the good side, I can now look at the control screen on my right or down at my phone for more than ~15 seconds without being nagged. Obviously, diverting your concentration from the road for long is unsafe, but you still have to put a small amount of torque on the wheel every ~15 seconds. With FSD Beta, you couldn’t look at the screen long enough to change a setting or switch to a new radio station without getting dinged.
You won’t be hearing from me about Full Self Driving Beta again for the foreseeable future! Your comments in the comments section will be greatly appreciated.
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