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  • The latest TMC Podcast (#14) is now available on YouTube and all major podcast networks. We covered FSD Beta's exciting v11 update, Enhanced Autopilot coming to the U.S. and Canada, and more!

FSD Beta Experience - Be Careful What You Wish For

I've been in the FSD Beta since last Christmas. I'm reading many posts from people frustrated they are not on the Beta yet, and others who are on the Beta and complaining about it.

So, I want to give everyone my experiences with FSD Beta, try to make everyone understand what's involved in it, and hopefully dissuade several of you from trying to get into the Beta.

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It's a Commitment
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I think many people are excited by the notion of FSD Beta, and watching YouTube videos or Twitter videos of people in FSD Beta thinking it will be easy and smooth. Let me assure you that it's a commitment to be in FSD Beta. It's not easy, and it's not smooth. You are committing to use a system that is far from perfect and agreeing to help improve the system by putting the car through various routes, and reporting problems as they occur. You're not going to be using your car as you did before. If you're not willing to use FSD Beta as much as possible, and thinking you'll only use casually, then I'd suggest it's not for you. Tesla needs data to improve the system. The more data, the faster the system develops. And we, the FSD Beta participants, want the end result in our lifetimes. :) Think of it as an unpaid internship.

It's Stressful
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I read many posts on TMC from people who are stressed over the Safety Score before even getting invited into FSD Beta. They worry about pissing off cars around them as they "drive like grandma" to keep a high score. Once you're in the FSD Beta, your stress level will go up even higher. Now, your car may perform odd maneuvers, suddenly brake, swerve left or right just before a turn, become paralyzed at unprotected turns, turn in a very unnatural or unsmooth way (ie: jerky), etc. You will likely get flashed with high-beams and honked at. Personally, I get those at least twice a week. Occasionally a middle-finger is extended when someone aggressively goes around you and cuts you off. I've even been coal-rolled. You need to have a calm demeanor and understand that you will be pissing people off. I have custom bumper stickers warning people behind me to help ease some of the stress I'm causing them, or at least letting them know they should stay back or go around me.

It's Mentally and Physically Draining
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Gone are the times when your brain goes into autopilot when you're driving, listening to music, or talking on the phone. Instead, you're hyper focused on the drive. I tell my friends that 80-90% of the time FSD Beta drives very well. 10-20% of the time it tries to kill me. :) Because of that, you cannot let your guard down for a moment. Many testers have their foot hovering or ready to engage, as the car could suddenly slow down in the middle of a turn, or approaching a flashing yellow caution sign. It might mistake an angled traffic light that's not meant for your lane and suddenly attempt to run a red light. It could make a sudden lane change, or try to make a turn from the wrong lane. I've had it try to go straight through an intersection while in a right turn-only lane.

Constant Engagement and Disengagement - And Reporting
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You will be engaging the system and disengaging it constantly. Is it getting too close to that parked car? Coming too fast at a speed bump? Did it become paralyzed at a 4-way stop where pedestrians are crossing? Is it in the wrong lane for the exit you need to take, and going to miss it? In many cases you will need to disengage FSD, perform a maneuver yourself and then re-engage FSD - and report it to Tesla. It's also important that you report everything to Tesla so they can improve the system. That can be difficult, if your car just freaked out and you had to disengage FSD and take over instantly to avoid something bad from happening. Your first reaction isn't usually to find and press a little camera button to report it - but you have to get into that habit.

Passengers
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I do most of my FSD Beta driving alone, as the system can really freak out passengers - and in many cases cause motion sickness in those susceptible to it. I've read many posts from people who say their BF/GF or spouse simply will not let them use FSD Beta while they are in the car.

Final Thoughts
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Some people might read the above and think, "I just won't use FSD Beta that much." If you're thinking you'll use FSD Beta a little, perhaps setting aside time to do a small trip with it from time to time, but otherwise driving the car yourself, then I think FSD Beta is not for you. You're committing to help Tesla improve a system, and with limited Beta participants (currently ~60K), your casual attitude towards the program could be negatively affecting it. There may be someone like me who is ready to totally commit to it, but cannot get into the program because someone else took a spot who really doesn't care that much. Also, if you've read all this and thought "Tesla should be paying me to do all this!", then the FSD Beta is not for you.

So be careful what you wish for... FSD Beta is not all fun and games.
 
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Ah - ok. Thought s/he was talking about FSD. In that case, AP is perfect for them. Actually it’s probably better. FSD requires you to tug on the steering wheel every 10 seconds; AP Only requires it every 30 so if you’re on a non-interstate it ends up being easier to use AP
I just want the option to use it on city streets when I want to. My freeway AP experience won’t change because it’s a separate stack. 2 profiles. One for normal city AP, and one for the beta. I’ve been in the safety score process too long.

As of today, I’m #1 on teslascope and teslafi for miles/score. Dhalgren and Raurele are both me.

13k miles since opting in. ~4600 miles this 30 day rolling period.

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I just want the option to use it on city streets when I want to. My freeway AP experience won’t change because it’s a separate stack. 2 profiles. One for normal city AP, and one for the beta. I’ve been in the safety score process too long.

As of today, I’m #1 on teslascope and teslafi for miles/score. Dhalgren and Raurele are both me.

13k miles since opting in. ~4600 miles this 30 day rolling period.

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yeah - unfortunately you're stuck in the same safety score no-man's land that about 100k other people are stuck in. Not much else to say - Tesla controls everything here. The good news for you is that it sounds like a large portion of your driving is on roads where AP does quite well, so you're still getting a large benefit from it. I'll also say that the novelty of FSD on city streets wears off quickly. After that it alternates between being nice and requiring a lot of patience.
 
I don’t think @Paige111 was asking why you think it’s good for you, I think s/he was asking why you think others shouldn’t get it.

I get the frustration. People paid for FSD and for a long time there was a limited set of features. Then Elon says they’re finally rolling out the beta program. Just sign up and be a good driver and you’ll get in, but not everyone got in so now there’s a group of ‘insiders’ that get the long-awaited software and everyone else is locked out.

In Tesla’s defense, there are downsides to letting too many people in the beta program. When you’re developing code like this you need enough data but too much data can be a problem just like too little data, and the more people they have using the software, the higher the odds that something really bad will happen and cause a major PR or legal cluster.

It’s not a great answer to the people who are waiting, but I can understand Teslas position here.
 
I don’t think @Paige111 was asking why you think it’s good for you, I think s/he was asking why you think others shouldn’t get it.

I get the frustration. People paid for FSD and for a long time there was a limited set of features. Then Elon says they’re finally rolling out the beta program. Just sign up and be a good driver and you’ll get in, but not everyone got in so now there’s a group of ‘insiders’ that get the long-awaited software and everyone else is locked out.

In Tesla’s defense, there are downsides to letting too many people in the beta program. When you’re developing code like this you need enough data but too much data can be a problem just like too little data, and the more people they have using the software, the higher the odds that something really bad will happen and cause a major PR or legal cluster.

It’s not a great answer to the people who are waiting, but I can understand Teslas position here.
So if that’s the case-they should be up front w/the 10-12K FSD buyers not getting the FSD updates- give them the option to get a credit or refund. Why is Tesla pushing( giving incentives) to buy FSD -when there are paid FSD customers being left out of the FSD updates. They should really be giving refund/credit back to the FSD buyers not getting the FSD updates, 5-6K refund/credit - until they get an FSD update.
 
You sound like a spoiled brat... you didn’t pay for the beta. And if you DID, that’s your fault for not understanding where you’re spending your money.
We did pay for 10-12K FSD —it’s all beta -they said it’ll be cont updated - yet some FSD buyers aren’t getting any FSD updates. There are multiple FSD updates -but some some 10-12K buyers only get the non FSD updates, despite having a good drive score. The lucky FSD buyers who are in beta program - aren’t better drivers -they were lucky to get a better AP
 
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I drive 150-200 miles on average a day. Actually drove 450 miles today. I drove manually probably 2-3% of the entire drive. No phantom braking. Perfect auto lane changes, perfect taking of exits, switching freeways, and on/off ramps. Perfect at stop signs and stop lights. Even when I got into windy 2 lane “highways” in grass valley. Didn’t matter if a semi was coming at me. Perfect.

Santa Cruz to grass valley and back with many stops.

It’s flawless. I couldn’t imagine my car without those FSD features. Even without beta.

I don’t “think” it’s good for me. I know it is.

I do this at least twice a week.
Im sure you’d be upset if you paid for FSD -but didn’t get updates -get into beta program -be stuck w/temperamental AP. I drive 60ml + daily on freeway commuting - I paid 10-12K FSD -& my AP barely stays on -it always turns off w/slight curves, it doesn’t detect traffic slowing down, slows down on freeway w/metrolink yellow lights (fastrack lane) off course it doesn’t work in regular traffic -( alarms through green lights-phantom stops) it is frustrating -I manage to get -maintain a good score -despite multiple false alarms -for months — I paid 10-12K FSD, the paid FSD buyers w/adequate drive score should be getting the FSD updates, or refunds/credits until they get an FSD update.
 
Im sure you’d be upset if you paid for FSD -but didn’t get updates -get into beta program -be stuck w/temperamental AP. I drive 60ml + daily on freeway commuting - I paid 10-12K FSD -& my AP barely stays on -it always turns off w/slight curves, it doesn’t detect traffic slowing down, slows down on freeway w/metrolink yellow lights (fastrack lane) off course it doesn’t work in regular traffic -( alarms through green lights-phantom stops) it is frustrating -I manage to get -maintain a good score -despite multiple false alarms -for months — I paid 10-12K FSD, the paid FSD buyers w/adequate drive score should be getting the FSD updates, or refunds/credits until they get an FSD update.
Doubling down on crying won’t get you a refund or credit no matter how many times you post it. A tantrum rarely changes reality.
 
Im sure you’d be upset if you paid for FSD -but didn’t get updates -get into beta program -be stuck w/temperamental AP. I drive 60ml + daily on freeway commuting - I paid 10-12K FSD -& my AP barely stays on -it always turns off w/slight curves, it doesn’t detect traffic slowing down, slows down on freeway w/metrolink yellow lights (fastrack lane) off course it doesn’t work in regular traffic -( alarms through green lights-phantom stops) it is frustrating -I manage to get -maintain a good score -despite multiple false alarms -for months — I paid 10-12K FSD, the paid FSD buyers w/adequate drive score should be getting the FSD updates, or refunds/credits until they get an FSD update.
I'm not upset. Regular AP is perfection for me. Also, you didn't pay for the beta. You paid for the FSD features which I couldn't imagine my car without. you aren't owed a thing.

Also, your typing is really hard to read. I get what you're doing with the "-" and "--" but you should really be using ";" for run on sentences.
 
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Doubling down on crying won’t get you a refund or credit no matter how many times you post it. A tantrum rarely changes reality.
Im sure the people in the beta would be upset being taken off beta going back to reg AP - maybe Tesla -beta program should alternate who’s in beta program to give all paid FSD buyers FSD updates, a chance in program.
 

doubleshot

'21MSLR | M/W,21,FSD | MF455 12/3
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Im sure the people in the beta would be upset being taken off beta going back to reg AP - maybe Tesla -beta program should alternate who’s in beta program to give all paid FSD buyers FSD updates, a chance in program.q
You do realize all your highway driving is on the same stack as the FSD beta stack yes? They haven't integrated the two yet. So FSD beta is only city streets. If the majority of where you're using FSD is on highway, you're getting the same experience as those with FSD beta. Btw beta often doesn't get all the full stack features till long after the general (like Colorizer took a while to get to FSD beta users). It's ok to be upset. But you bought what was listed on the website. Lane changes, summon, and park assist. Beta is new features being added, but needs time before GA release.
 
You do realize all your highway driving is on the same stack as the FSD beta stack yes? They haven't integrated the two yet. So FSD beta is only city streets. If the majority of where you're using FSD is on highway, you're getting the same experience as those with FSD beta. Btw beta often doesn't get all the full stack features till long after the general (like Colorizer took a while to get to FSD beta users). It's ok to be upset. But you bought what was listed on the website. Lane changes, summon, and park assist. Beta is new features being added, but needs time before GA release.
Thanks
 
I have also been a Bata user for over a year also. I drove it very carefully and found a great tool to increase my driving safety. But the most annoying thing is the incessant requirement for turning the steering wheel. I say turning and not hands on because I never take my hands off the wheel. But to use their flawed system you must constantly keep your eyes on the dash and not the road because the unit can falsely claim your hands are not on the wheel when they are every few seconds or so. My annoyance is that in the last few weeks it has alarmed and kicked me off two times, so I have one warning left. Both times I heard only the alarm that licked me off. I was correcting when it kicked me off. The latest time today I was at a light waiting to go but since my hands were relaxed it kicked me off. I was shocked as this was a Tesla system mistake. The car has flaws even though it is the best car I have driven but Tesla does not make it easy or possible to discuss this with them. Please stop penalizing attentive drivers because your system although well intentioned is flawed.
If you want to make the car safer allow the lane change function other, then for road changes to be disconnected in the settings menus. I am constantly having the car turn at the wrong or unnecessary time for non-exit purposes.
 
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I totally agree with you on the frustration of having your hands on the wheel while being warned. Sorry you got kicked off a couple times. I've adjusted to where I get almost no warnings and also keep my eyes on the road most of the time, only analysing the screen later (dash cam). An audible alert would be helpful if they don't sense hands on wheel. As it is, finding the balance between pressure and disengagement can be annoying.
 
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I totally agree with you on the frustration of having your hands on the wheel while being warned. Sorry you got kicked off a couple times. I've adjusted to where I get almost no warnings and also keep my eyes on the road most of the time, only analysing the screen later (dash cam). An audible alert would be helpful if they don't sense hands on wheel. As it is, finding the balance between pressure and disengagement can be annoying.
I had a similar case a few days ago. I was driving into the evening sun and didn't seen the blue screen and the first warning I got was the red wheel of death. Very annoying. I had a lot of problems with this several revisions ago (pre-FSD) but this is the first time it's happened to me with FSD. Still, it's frustrating enough to make me consider getting a weight, even though I think circumventing safety mechanisms is a bad idea.
 
I was suspended yesterday after getting a third warning. In actuality the third warning was not even using the FSD beta but rather just the standard cruise with auto steering. I had two strikes for over three months so it was just a matter of time until the third popped up. The "counter" has never reset, even after getting the past two software updates.

What irks me the most about it, is that I actually was "hands" on the yoke at the time of all three warnings. In the refresh S, i usually drive with my elbow on the center console and then my right hand holding the bottom right corner of the yoke. On my car, unless you tug on the yoke, the fsd doesn't recognize the contact. Of course you then have to balanace the tugging amount versus disengagaing the FSD. It's a fine line. All three of these warnings occured on long stretches of straight away highway driving-looking mid windshield straight ahead with my hand on the bottom right of the yoke. The combination of no turns and the small sized warning message way at the bottom of the center screen contributed to the issue my missing the initial warning.
 
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What irks me the most about it, is that I actually was "hands" on the yoke at the time of all three warnings. The combination of no turns and the small sized warning message way at the bottom of the center screen contributed to the issue my missing the initial warning.

MY owner here, just got FSDb last night. Haven't driven with it (was co-pilot hitting the camera button to report issues multiple times over a 2KM drive.) Will probably be dumped out of the program fairly quickly based on my AP experience.

I drive with my hands in 9&3 and eyes on the road when in AP. Therefore I don't see the friggin screen blinking at me, because rather than driving by staring at the screen, I'm watching the road and scanning my mirrors. To complicate things, my right arm in the 3-position blocks the message on the screen when it first comes up. When I see the blue flashing at the top, I'll jerk the steering wheel (sometimes enough to pull it out of AP).

Life would be easier if I got a gentle warning I could hear/feel and then could just use the scroll wheels to prove I'm still there, paying attention the road and the car's position on it instead of watching the screen.
 
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MY owner here, just got FSDb last night. Haven't driven with it (was co-pilot hitting the camera button to report issues multiple times over a 2KM drive.) Will probably be dumped out of the program fairly quickly based on my AP experience.

I drive with my hands in 9&3 and eyes on the road when in AP. Therefore I don't see the friggin screen blinking at me, because rather than driving by staring at the screen, I'm watching the road and scanning my mirrors. To complicate things, my right arm in the 3-position blocks the message on the screen when it first comes up. When I see the blue flashing at the top, I'll jerk the steering wheel (sometimes enough to pull it out of AP).

Life would be easier if I got a gentle warning I could hear/feel and then could just use the scroll wheels to prove I'm still there, paying attention the road and the car's position on it instead of watching the screen.
A properly functioning system will give you a small warning at the bottom of the screen to move the wheel. Then after 2-3 seconds it will start flashing blue at the top of the screen to get your peripheral vision and let you know to move the wheel. Then another 2-3 seconds and it will flash red and give an audible warning (pretty loud), then 2-3 more seconds and it will give the red-wheel-of-death followed by a strike against you.

So, you should have plenty of time from the blue flashing and then red flashing to move the wheel or use the scroll wheels to let the car know you're there.

Some people have indicated that they don't get the above warnings, that the system goes straight to the red-wheel-of-death and a strike. Or it gives them the warning, but when they apply torque the system does not recognize their efforts. This is not normal behavior.
 

doubleshot

'21MSLR | M/W,21,FSD | MF455 12/3
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A properly functioning system will give you a small warning at the bottom of the screen to move the wheel. Then after 2-3 seconds it will start flashing blue at the top of the screen to get your peripheral vision and let you know to move the wheel. Then another 2-3 seconds and it will flash red and give an audible warning (pretty loud), then 2-3 more seconds and it will give the red-wheel-of-death followed by a strike against you.

So, you should have plenty of time from the blue flashing and then red flashing to move the wheel or use the scroll wheels to let the car know you're there.

Some people have indicated that they don't get the above warnings, that the system goes straight to the red-wheel-of-death and a strike. Or it gives them the warning, but when they apply torque the system does not recognize their efforts. This is not normal behavior.
It Is pretty amazing people keep saying they are getting strikes and don't realize it. Because it's very obvious when you're about to get kicked. I think I've only gotten to once where it's done the flashing. But you have to apply gentle pressure to the steering wheel. Just light grasp doesn't do anything. The system has no idea your hand is there. Just rest your hand with a little more tension to it and you're golden. The yoke helps a ton with this tho as it's easier to keep some pressure because the bottom is flat.

I've had fsd beta for 6 months. I still don't have a ding.
 
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