CNN Drove a Tesla Model 3 With ‘Full Self-Driving’ Mode on New York City Streets

The Tesla Full Self-Driving mode is a hot topic of debate these days. There seem to be two opinions: Full Self-Driving (FSD) is excellent and gets the job done, and FSD is not ready for public consumption. CNN Business took a Tesla around the streets of New York City, and it went as expected. While the Model 3 was able to navigate some roads, it couldn’t process some of the more complicated situations.

CNN Business took a Tesla Model 3 to Brooklyn to see how it went

CNN Business tested out Full Self-Driving in a Tesla Model 3
CNN Business tested out Full Self-Driving in a Tesla Model 3 | CNN Business via YouTube

Earlier this week, CNN Business headed out to Brooklyn to test the Full Self-Driving claims on a Tesla. The title of the video is a good indication of how things went: “CNN tried Tesla’s ‘full self-driving’ mode on NYC streets. It didn’t go great.” The streets of New York are tough on any driver. Beyond that, it doesn’t seem that FSD is quite ready for such roads yet. However, it’ll still cost $10,000 if you want to use FSD on your Tesla.

The Tesla Model 3 had Full Self-Driving Beta enabled before it headed out with Michael Ballaban, CNN’s Transportation Editor. Upon coming across hazards in the road, the Tesla required quite a bit of intervention from Ballaban. That isn’t unusual, but it was a little alarming that the Tesla backed out of driving at the last seconds.

At one point, a UPS truck was on the opposite side of a tight street. In front of the Tesla, a guy on a delivery bike pulled out. To avoid the bike, the Tesla moved to the middle of the road into the path of the UPS truck. Ballaban then took over to avoid hitting the truck, but similar situations happened quite frequently.

It appears Tesla Full Self-Driving is not ready for New York streets

A significant interruption to Full Self-Driving occurred every few blocks. However, New York streets are a bit more challenging than usual streets. But it did seem that the Tesla Model 3 isn’t exactly ready for city life. It was able to distinguish a variety of cones, people, and other hazards when driving on a less busy street. But when things like a fenced-off lane popped up, the Tesla wasn’t sure how to handle it.

“Seeing might not be totally the issue here. It is knowing what to do in challenging situations, stuff that experience teaches you.”

Michael Ballaban | CNN Transportation Editor

The Model 3 performed as expected when driving on less crowded streets with pedestrian traffic. In most other situations, FSD didn’t prepare the Tesla Model 3 for the rest of the hazards. There were many random braking and touchy responses from the car that made it hard to get through. In the video, Ballaban noted that some vehicles behind him seemed upset by the jerky motions.

FSD simply isn’t ready for the mean streets of NY

There are a variety of instances where Full Self-Driving was engaged, and an accident occurred. However, the blame situation is pretty up in the air. New York City isn’t exactly the right place for testing out autonomous driving, and this proved that. For now, city life might have to stick with actual driving over any sort of autonomous option.

“It’s a little like teaching a teenager how to drive. You are always watching, always waiting, you never know when it might try something new. That’s where the anxiety comes from,” Ballaban said to the camera. For now, it seems that using Full Self-Driving on some city streets isn’t worth the headache. Simply driving the vehicle is a safer option than trying to stay in sync with the autonomous option.

RELATED: Consumer Reports Says Tesla and Electric SUVs “Absolute Bottom” for Reliability