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Tesla will release 'Full Self-Driving' beta next week, Musk says

Only a select few will have it enabled, apparently.

Tesla Model 3 Autopilot
A driver's full attention is required, no matter the level of Autopilot functionality. Don't get lulled into a false sense of security.

At Tesla's Battery Day event last month, the automaker promised that an early version of its long-awaited "Full Self-Driving" system would be available in "a month or so." Now that a month or so has passed, a tweet from CEO Elon Musk makes it sound like everything's on track.

According to Elon Musk's Twitter account, a limited version of the Full Self-Driving upgrade of its Autopilot software will make its way to owners starting next Tuesday. Musk was quick to note that the FSD beta will "be limited to a small number of people who are expert [and] careful drivers." It's unclear just how Tesla will determine a driver's worthiness; Tesla does not operate a public relations department to field requests for comment.

During this year's Battery Day presentation, Musk explained that Tesla had to give Autopilot a serious overhaul to help bring it to this point. "We had to do a fundamental rewrite of the entire Autopilot software stack," Musk said at the event. "The sophistication of the neural net of the car and the overall logic of the car is improved dramatically."

It's worth noting, as always, that there is no such thing as an autonomous car for sale currently. FSD is a highly advanced version of Autopilot, which itself has seen several major upgrades over time, adding features like automatic lane changes, highway driving assistance and automatic traffic light and stop sign control. The latest update, which we reported on earlier in October, added the ability for Tesla vehicles to automatically drive through green lights without requiring a lead car to start moving first.

It's also worth noting that just because the system is called "Full Self Driving" doesn't mean you get to jump into the backseat and film a bunch of TikToks showing off your allegedly self-driving car. Instead, FSD will still require the driver to keep their hands on the steering wheel and prepare to retake control when prompted. Driver monitoring will likely be part of the equation for a while to come.