Tesla Full-Self Driving Option Comes Up Empty
Elon Musk said in a tweet, “All Tesla cars delivered in the final three days of the year will get three months of the Full Self-Driving option for free. Delivery & docs must be fully complete by midnight Dec 31st.”
Tesla touts its vehicles as the safest cars in the world with passive and active safety features to protect both the driver and passengers. Citing their achievement of five-star safety ratings in every category and subcategory in U.S. government testing, it also goes on to say that the Model 3 was found to have the lowest probability of injury of any car tested, followed by the Model S and Model X. Tesla further states that the Model X was the first SUV achieve a five-star rating across the board.
The Full Self-Driving option is the successor to Tesla’s Autopilot, which was deemed less safe than manual driving, according to an article in Forbes. It seems that Tesla doesn’t abide by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) definition of automobile crashes versus accidents as they choose to report. Tesla says that their cars were involved in one accident in every 3.07 million miles driven with Autopilot engaged. Tesla also stated that without Autopilot on, Tesla drivers had one accident for every 2.10 million miles driven due to their advanced safety features. This doesn’t take into account fatalities that have occurred with Autopilot engaged, nor the more spectacular accidents while Autopilot was being used.
So exactly what is Full Self-Driving? According to Consumer Reports, it’s an $8,000-$10,000 option on a Tesla that you may not want anytime soon. “Despite the name, the Full Self-Driving capability suite requires significant driver attention to ensure that these developing-technology features don’t introduce new safety risks to the driver, or other vehicles out on the road,” said Jake Fisher, senior director of auto testing at Consumer Reports. “Not only that, in our evaluations we determined that several of the features don’t provide much in the way of real benefits to customers, despite the extremely high purchase price.”
Inconsistency was the biggest problem encountered with Full Self-Driving, whether utilizing Autopark, Smart Summon, Autopilot navigation, or Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control. Forgetting where your Tesla parked itself previously may be no big thing, but driving in the carpool lane, remaining in the passing lane for long periods (a potential moving violation in Washington state), or driving through stop signs aren’t minor errors. Better not to be a Tesla beta tester, whether for free as Elon announced, or as a costly option.