Right now, if you purchase Tesla's Full Self-Driving beta software, you might not be able to use it. The automaker has rolled this tech out to an ever-growing number of Tesla drivers, but it appears the OEM is nearing the point where it's comfortable allowing every driver to gain access to its capabilities.
As part of Tesla's webcast discussing Q3 2022 financials, CEO Elon Musk said that Full Self-Driving's beta release should be rolled out to every person who ordered it by the end of the year, as the software continues to be refined and improved.
Now, this is the part of the article where I remind you, dear reader, that despite its name, Tesla's Full Self-Driving software is not a fully autonomous driving system. Currently, it's an array of advanced driver aids that permits hands-free operation of the vehicle with a fully attentive driver prepared to take control of the vehicle at a moment's notice.
However, Musk sounds increasingly confident in FSD's abilities. As improvements are made on a consistent basis, Musk said on the call that "you will almost never have to touch the vehicle controls" while the vehicle is in operation. He also said that he believes that Tesla will have enough data by next year to show regulators that FSD is much safer than a human-driven vehicle. "We almost are there," Musk said, referring to FSD's improvement over time.
Currently, there are approximately 160,000 Tesla owners with the ability to access FSD's capabilities. This number grew from 100,000 owners in September. If it happens, this forthcoming expansion would be in line with Musk's previous estimates. It's not clear exactly how many have purchased the software, though.
Since its release, Tesla has steadily raised the cost to add FSD's beta capabilities to a purchased vehicle. In September, the cost, nearly double its cost from two years ago. At this time, it's unclear if Tesla plans to raise its price again.