Tesla slams into reverse, pulls latest beta of Full Self-Driving software from participating car owners

Tesla has yanked the latest beta, 10.3, of its Full Self-Driving (FSD) software from participating car owners after boss Elon Musk noted the company was "seeing some issues" with the code.

Release notes shared by drivers on Reddit documented changes around "static obstacle control," permitting more acceleration when merging from on-ramps and reducing false slowdowns by "improving the model of interaction between pedestrians and the static world."

A glance at the chatboard's forums show the update had been well received by the faithful. However, the phrases "needs a lot of work" and "definitely requires careful babysitting" hinted that the tech was not quite there yet.

And that is without considering the beta nature of the software, which has been sent out to approximately 1,000 vehicle owners (initially only to those with "perfect" safety scores, according to Musk, before being made available to those with Safety Scores of 99/100). Tesla has not put a figure on the number of members of the public also unwittingly involved in the test by simply being near a Tesla car running the software.

While Musk did not elaborate on the specific issues, the rollback appears to have done a bit more than skip back to 10.2 for some users. Drivers reported that despite Musk's remarks, the FSD beta has been entirely stripped from their vehicles.

Back in January, Musk boasted: "Tesla Full Self-Driving will work at a safety level well above that of the average driver this year."

Mere months later, he was taken to task for overestimating the Autopilot tech of Tesla cars - which the firm has characterised as enhanced cruise-control that requires the driver to keep their hands on the wheel and an attentive eye on the road. Critics have said the word "Autopilot" seems to imply something a little more than that. Just last month, a lawsuit over the technology was filed by five Texas residents alleging the software was at fault after a Tesla Model X ploughed into the back of two parked police cruisers.

"Full Self-Driving" also appears to suggest the car will be able to take care of itself, although as Tesla's own support pages state: "The currently enabled Autopilot and Full Self-Driving features require active driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous."

The dream of full autonomy remains somewhat elusive, and the abrupt pulling of the code (this is a beta, after all) indicates that the company still has some way to go. ®

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