Tesla’s FSD Beta, which stands for ‘full-self driving’ beta, can best be summarized as a host of new driver assistant features that are not yet debugged. Chief among them is “autosteer on city streets,” which enables drivers to automatically navigate around complex urban environments without moving the steering wheel with their own hands.
Elon Musk has promised driverless cars since 2016, but FSD is not even close to a fully autonomous vehicle yet. The beta program is heavily scrutinized by regulators and has earned Tesla side-eye from competitors, who usually have professionally trained drivers, not customers, test driver assist features in their vehicles.
But for now, FSD Beta still available for thousands of Tesla owners to access, without the knowledge of drivers and pedestrians around them. CNBC went for a ride with three FSD Beta testers in different parts of the country to see how the system performs in the real world and explore what this program could mean for the future of vehicle automation.