In its most recent over-the-air software upgrade, Tesla introduced a new fine for careless drivers. Any motorist who experiences five "Forced Autopilot Disengagements," which occur when the system automatically disengages for the remainder of a trip after giving the driver many audible and visual warnings to keep attentive, will be subject to a two-week suspension from utilising the Full Self-Driving Beta.
Tesla’s software update includes this new feature where the EV maker states that the use of FSD will be suspended if incorrect behaviour is discovered that reduces safety and responsibility. When you or another driver in your car experiences five "Forced Autopilot Disengagements," that is considered improper usage. When the driver ignores repeated audible and visual warnings for inattention, the Autopilot system disengages for the rest of the journey. Tesla emphasizes that the driver must always pay attention and keep their hands on the wheel and refrain from using handheld gadgets while driving.
It may sound cruel to be prohibited from utilising a function for 2 weeks after having paid up to $15,000 for FSD. Despite popular belief, this sentence is more forgiving than the previous one. Prior to this new fine, Tesla would kick participants out of the Full Self-Driving Beta programme without providing any information about when they might be let back in. It was entirely up to Tesla, and it may take a few weeks or many months. At least now that the firm has explicitly stated its penalty policy, it will be administered uniformly to all FSD Beta participants.
It's Not Really Full-Self Driving
It's critical to keep in mind that Tesla's Full Self-Driving Beta is not genuinely self-driving technology, despite the term, which is currently prohibited in California. On the Society of Automotive Engineers' scale of driving automation, it is at most Level 2, which is still considered a support system and always necessitates a driver’s undivided attention. No vehicles that meet Level 3, the minimum standard on the SAE's five-level scale for being referred to as "autonomous," are currently available for purchase in the United States.
The future concept of fully autonomous vehicles
A new California legislation that prohibits Tesla and other automakers from marketing their vehicles as "totally self-driving" will take effect this year. Lena Gonzales, a Democratic state senator, proposed Senate Bill (SB) No. 1398, which effectively forbids Tesla from referring to its Advanced Driver Assist System (ADAS) package as Full Self-Driving (FSD).
Car manufacturers and dealers cannot name or describe partial automation driving features that implies or would otherwise lead a reasonable person to believe that the feature permits the vehicle to function as an autonomous vehicle, as defined in Section 38750, or that the feature has other functionality that is not actually included in the feature according to the law.
So, automakers and dealers are not allowed to "deceptively name, refer to, or advertise" a vehicle as self-driving if it merely has partial automation features that occasionally still require human drivers to take over driving. In order to avoid driver misunderstanding, the new law, signed in September 2022, and which took effect on January 1, 2023, also applies to all feature updates and vehicle improvements.
Even though the California Department of Motor Vehicles already had regulations prohibiting the false promotion of self-driving cars, lax enforcement of the regulations prompted lawmakers to advance legislation to codify the regulations. By mandating dealers and manufacturers that sell new passenger vehicles with a semiautonomous driving assistance feature to give a detailed description of the capabilities and limitations of those technologies, this bill promotes consumer safety.
Tesla has been campaigning against the legislation, claiming that it already informs customers of the limitations of the Full Self-Driving software. In addition, the EV manufacturer has been mentioned in a number of legal proceedings and investigations over its ADAS, as well as a current enquiry by the US Department of Justice about advertising for its Autopilot capabilities.
The full self-driving functions on Tesla's website are noted as requiring "active driver monitoring and do not make the vehicle autonomous."