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We’ve been waiting for Tesla to release its Full Self-Driving beta program since forever. Maybe not really, actually forever, but it sure feels like it’s been a really long time. So what is Tesla’s full self-driving beta v9, and are Tesla owners happy with it?

The interior of a Tesla Model 3.
The interior of a Tesla Model 3 | Tesla

What is Tesla’s new software like?

Finally, on July 9, 2021, Tesla began updating their software. The software update, Tesla FSD Beta v9, is an update for Tesla’s self-driving package. Tesla customers have to have already paid for FSD, at a cost beginning at about $8,000. For a package that may never have arrived, Tesla owners who purchased FSD are probably pretty relieved right now. 

Tesla FSD Beta v9 package will work in conjunction with Tesla Vision. Tesla vision is Tesla’s way of ‘seeing’ the road and its surroundings. Many vehicles are equipped with sensors that allow it to measure things like the distance between themselves and cars around them, or the painted lines on a highway. However, Tesla Vision only uses cameras to do these things. It’s a new technology and the FSD v9 will work with it. 

What did Tesla release with the Full Self-Driving Beta v9?

As usual, Tesla is pretty quiet on the details of its plans. Even after Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Beta v9was released, Tesla hasn’t shared a lot of details. 

Tesla did share a few things, including that the Teslas with the updates will have the ability to see around them better. This information will be shown on the in-car display. Additionally, interior cameras will be able to track things like whether the driver is paying attention. Tesla says that these images won’t be shared, provided you don’t enable sharing.

Tesla did give warnings about the FSD Beta 9

Tesla reminded people of the rules of the Autopilot feature that goes hand-in-hand with Tesla Full Self-Driving; namely, that it’s not autonomous. In the past, people have abused the Tesla Autopilot feature, sometimes with serious consequences. 

According to Gizmodo, Tesla CEO Elon Musk is even more than cautious. On Twitter, his vehicle of communication of choice, Musk tweeted, “Running preproduction software is both work & fun. Beta list was in stasis, as we had many known issues to fix. Beta 9 addresses most known issues, but there will be unknown issues, so please be paranoid. Safety is always top priority at Tesla.”

It’s clear that Tesla is concerned that people may become overly reliant on the FSD update. California is investigating Tesla for falsely advertising just how autonomous their Autopilot function is. 

Even with Full Self-Driving, Tesla operators must keep their hands on the steering wheel and retain control of their vehicle. The Tesla Full Self-Driving function is only a level-2 driving program, which means that they are still pretty far from autonomous. 


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