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Advice for new FSD Beta drivers?

Just soliciting advice from experienced FSD beta testers for those of us joining the program.

In particular I am interested in how and when to report issues back to Tesla (I have heard about a camera button that sounds like it is a reporting mechanism); how to avoid the dreaded forced disengagement demerits; and anything else useful that you might wish you had known when you first got FSD beta.

I’m hopeful this can be a positive discussion that enhances the beta experience and safety as informed by those who have been using the Beta.
 

Twiglett

Single pedal driver
Oct 3, 2014
3,616
4,073
Austin
People handle FSDb in different way, so all I can do is share my own perspective.
I learned that I felt best when I was quite restrictive in my attitude to what I would let it get away with. So when we are driving together (FSDb & I) I'm always applying just enough torque on the steering wheel to feel what the car is doing.
Each time it tried to something stupid, just like the warning message says, and it tried to jerk the wheel off on some random direction, it never gets far.
Every time it does that I'll tap the camera icon to submit the clip to Tesla. For the more obscure ones I'll send an email to fsdbeta to clarify.
After that its down to your personal trust level. But its definitely still a real beta but is now at the point where its doing some things really well but is staggeringly bad elsewhere.
It does seem that the good/bad is regional though.

In my area, this release is the most confidence inspiring so far, but the limitations are still evident.
Unprotected left turns are interesting
Any junction that is asymmetrical or complex in some way can also be entertaining. We have lots of those in the area.
Oddly, junctions with no traffic are sometimes an issue, the car is more confident when its got other cars to provide cues.
Flashing yellow warning lights & signs have been an issue, not sure the still are.
Really large intersections with traffic lights can sometimes be fun, the car can have problems picking a lane.
Its not good at avoiding potholes

Most larger, well marked roads are pretty darned good right now as are highways etc
Its quite good at spotting traffic calming and will slow down for them

Once you get used to what it does well it becomes more like driving with Autopilot and much more relaxing.
Even my family is allowing me to use it when they're in the car now, so its improved enough for that to happen :cool:

[edit]
I forgot to add.
Make a second driver profile with FSD disabled so you can use that if you have folks who don't like how FSDb drives.
 
Best advice I can give is to start with simple routes until you gain confidence in what FSDb can, and can't, do well. As you gain experience with it, add more challenging situations.

Beyond that, be aware that:
  • FSDb does not recognize school zones or school busses.
  • It likely will not react to emergency vehicles any differently than other cars.
  • It does not honor "No Right Turn on Red" signs.
  • It may slow considerably, or stop, for a flashing yellow light strung across the road.
  • Use extreme caution with unprotected left and right turns onto busy cross streets - especially if there is restricted visibility to the left.
  • Be aware that the car may move toward the middle of residential and other unlined roads.
Screen Shot 2022-06-06 at 3.59.40 PM.png
 

Chisale

Member
Sep 28, 2019
285
322
Ohio
Great advice from Twiglet and Supcom above. Especially about the school zones. It will just roar right into a school zone at the non-school speed. So be prepared to turn it off or start forcing the speed down well before you get there. Just one other thing. Just because it does handle something fairly tricky once, don't get complacent. It may handle a tough situation and lull you into a false sense of security and then right around the next bend do something incredibly stupid on something easy. Like try to pass somebody on the left when you have a right turn in 1/4 mile. Or at first find the right lane on an approach to a well marked intersection and then suddenly veer into the wrong lane at the last minute. Don't let your guard down.
 
There is both the excitement and then the reality of FSD beta.
I transitioned through four stages represented by four avatars starting before I got FSD beta and they tell the story. Much of the beginning was a white knuckle experience but I learned to just focus because I knew where it was likely to mess up. The tips offered by @Twiglett, @Supcom, @Chisale, and @Chisale are excellent things to be aware of.
Above all, I think focus is extremely important, beta is NOT a finished product.
Dreamin of FSD.jpg
>>
Livin the FSD Dream.jpg
>>
Livin the FSD Dream Stress.jpg
>>
Livin the FSD Dream Stress Focus.jpg
 
Last edited:
In my area, this release is the most confidence inspiring so far, but the limitations are still evident.

Unprotected left turns are interesting

Any junction that is asymmetrical or complex in some way can also be entertaining.

Make a second driver profile with FSD disabled so you can use that if you have folks who don't like how FSDb drives.

Thanks for that. I've only done 2km with FSD. I was the passenger so it was my job to hit the camera icon, which I did, FOUR TIMES.

Interesting unprotected left turns, a T-intersection with lights that the car was to turn left at but, at the red light kept switching between left and right turn signals and on the green had no idea where to go because it couldn't 'see' the way to make the turn so it was a disengage to stop driving over the traffic island and then again when it moved into the lane merging in to the road from the right, and continued on in the bike lane after than merge lane ended.

Your tip about second profile is excellent and I will do that when it is my turn behind the wheel.
 
Excellent advise provided by others. My recommendation for new beta drivers is to avoid the temptation and habit of taking your hands off the steering wheel. The car will sometimes panic and jerk the wheel abruptly, especially during turns, lane changes, and at times it may try to go around things when it shouldn't. Don't wait to see if the car figures it out, just intervene and report it. The most often the intervention will be a corrective force on the steering wheel and a press on the accelerator. This disables auto-steer feature of FSD but adaptive speed (cruise) control will remain active. Make it a habit to quickly re-activate or completely cancel Autopilot so that you are always certain you're in charge.

If you have passengers in the car, are having a conversation, showing off, using your phone, the car will notice. For all I know, Tesla may even be programmed to apply an occasional steering wheel jerk just to measure your reaction time. Chances are that if you get dinged for not paying attention it is because you deserved it. Learn quickly from every warning and don't get your privilege revoked.

Hope you all enjoy the benefit of FSDBeta assistive driving features as they slowly evolve without expecting too much. Remember that you alone are in charge of what the car does. Approach beta as though you are teaching a child how to drive.
 
Excellent advise provided by others. My recommendation for new beta drivers is to avoid the temptation and habit of taking your hands off the steering wheel.
F. My husband is a one-handed driver (he's also why our safety score was not the 99 I was achieving.) I won't have to worry about missing the screen telling me to adjust the wheel. He'll get us booted out of the program before I get even one strike for that.
 
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S4WRXTTCS

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2015
6,765
8,254
Snohomish, WA
I haven't seen any strong evidence that the emails to FSD Beta are even read aside from being scanned for keywords. Aside from an automated response there is no acknowledgement. So you can't asked any questions or get any clarifications. You can't engage them in an attempt to get them to fix a specific problem. Like FSD Beta for me is unusable on my commute to work as it turns on the turn signal when going straight through a couple intersections.

So for myself I don't think its worth my time or energy to write them an email.

I do report things using the camera button. But, who knows if they can correctly interpret what it is I'm reporting.
 
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Twiglett

Single pedal driver
Oct 3, 2014
3,616
4,073
Austin
Thanks for that. I've only done 2km with FSD. I was the passenger so it was my job to hit the camera icon, which I did, FOUR TIMES.

Interesting unprotected left turns, a T-intersection with lights that the car was to turn left at but, at the red light kept switching between left and right turn signals and on the green had no idea where to go because it couldn't 'see' the way to make the turn so it was a disengage to stop driving over the traffic island and then again when it moved into the lane merging in to the road from the right, and continued on in the bike lane after than merge lane ended.

Your tip about second profile is excellent and I will do that when it is my turn behind the wheel.
I think the biggest thing for all folk just joining the beta now is to do exactly what you're doing - keep hitting that camera button.
Our only feedback method for FSDb is to keep using that button when it does something silly :)

I forgot one more thing
Make sure your car has got a good wifi signal when you get back home. It will be uploading all those clips back to support.
My car regularly uploads between 1-3G of data depending on how many snaps I took.
 
Is there a voice command that is the equivalent of the camera button? Like “Report FSD” or something?

I’d prefer that to hunting for the camera button right after correcting a sketchy maneuver.
You have a grace period for the button. It will save a snapshot and the last 10 seconds or so of driving.
 
If you turn off FSD using the lever be careful not to do it while the car is stopped. You can inadvertently put the car into reverse. I've done this and it scared the hell out of me. Also using the lever it can turn off the automatic steering but keep the cruise control activated. If you want to take control, tapping the brake is the safer way to do it. That will turn off both steering and cruise control.
 
If you turn off FSD using the lever be careful not to do it while the car is stopped. You can inadvertently put the car into reverse. I've done this and it scared the hell out of me. Also using the lever it can turn off the automatic steering but keep the cruise control activated. If you want to take control, tapping the brake is the safer way to do it. That will turn off both steering and cruise control.
Yikes.

Fortunately on the model S the FSD activation/deactivation is on the right yoke scroll button, which doesn’t function as a shifter. But still possible to leave it in autopilot if FSD disengages through turning steering wheel override.
 

nvx1977

Active Member
Nov 25, 2017
2,759
6,018
US
apologies if already mentioned:

Don't let the car do stupid stuff. I'm already reading people in the new cohort posting that their car drove over median curbs and such. There's no point waiting to see what the car will do. If it's something you deem unreasonable or unsafe, disengage/intervene. Then hit the snapshot button to send the video and data to Tesla.
 
I have been stressing trying to find this camera button on my Model S.

Turns out on the MS you have to open the “Controls” setting to see it. It doesn’t appear on any top bar like it apparently does on other models.
Camera button??

I think holding on to the car on the home screen is what sends the feedback and the clip of ten mins?
 
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DriveMe

Member
Aug 12, 2017
850
1,585
NE OH
I think the biggest thing for all folk just joining the beta now is to do exactly what you're doing - keep hitting that camera button.
Our only feedback method for FSDb is to keep using that button when it does something silly :)
Actually another very important way of providing feedback is interventions and disengagements. Don’t hesitate to intervene if the car is not doing what you expect. All interventions are automatically logged and communicated to Tesla.
Personally, I only send video clips if the car did something really stupid or if I didn’t like something, but didn’t intervene.

I forgot one more thing
Make sure your car has got a good wifi signal when you get back home. It will be uploading all those clips back to support.
My car regularly uploads between 1-3G of data depending on how many snaps I took.
That’s an important point. Keep in mind that the volume of data being sent is so big that it can easily overwhelm slow Internet connection (say, if it’s around 10-15 mbps). I learned it the hard way! I had a slow Internet connection in the office and kept having problems with Internet connectivity, until I realized it was my car with the FSD Beta that was killing the Internet! :)
 
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