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Tesla starts judging owners it charged $10,000 for self-driving

Craig Trudell and Dana Hull, Bloomberg News on

Published in Business News

In March of this year, however, Musk announced Tesla had revoked FSD beta from drivers that didn’t pay enough attention to the road.

The new head of the other investigator of auto crashes in the U.S., the National Transportation Safety Board, has taken umbrage with this sort of mixed messaging.

“Whether it’s Tesla or anyone else, it is incumbent on these manufacturers to be honest in what their technology does and does not do,” Jennifer Homendy told Bloomberg News in her first interview after she was sworn in last month.

‘It’s Terrifying’

Homendy has since called Tesla’s use of the term Full Self-Driving “misleading and irresponsible,” and expressed concern to the Wall Street Journal about FSD’s readiness to be used by more drivers on public roads.

 

“For investors, it’s terrifying,” said Taylor Ogan, the CEO of Boston-based hedge fund Snow Bull Capital, who has closely watched videos of FSD beta testers at times demonstrating the software’s shortcomings. “It’s like the CEO of a drug company broadening the test pool of the experimental drug that the FDA is investigating for potentially hurting people.”

Tara Goddard, an urban planning professor at Texas A&M University who’s researching how auto-safety tech and automation is being marketed to consumers, questions whether Tesla’s seven-day evaluation of drivers’ behavior goes far enough to screen out unsafe users.

She pointed to a Tesla enthusiast’s recent blog post giving car owners pointers on how the company is likely to judge their driving.

“People are already saying, here’s how you game the system to make sure you can opt in and use it how you want,” Goddard said. “I just worry that we’re going to see an uptick in this being used in places where it’s really not ready to be used — and not by professional drivers.”

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