For a long time, self-driving cars have seemed like a thing of the distant future. Now, however, that future is getting nearer. With several automakers releasing advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), semi-autonomous cars are slowly making a name for themselves in reality. Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) capability is offering drivers the chance to get one step closer to a totally autonomous vehicle. Let’s look at what this feature has to offer, what happened in Toronto, and where it’s currently available.
What Is Full Self-Driving (FSD)?
Tesla’s FSD capability allows the car to be driven with extremely limited input from a human driver. Autopilot mode has already been a part of Tesla vehicles for many years and includes the following features:
- Basic Autopilot
- Traffic-Aware Cruise Control
- Enhanced Autopilot
- Auto Lane Change
- Navigate on Autopilot (beta)
- Smart Summon
With FSD, in addition to all the Basic and Enhanced Autopilot features, drivers can also access Traffic and Stop Sign Control, which recognizes stop signs and traffic lights to slow the car down when necessary (driver supervision required).
Drivers with FSD can also access Autosteer, which automatically steers the car on city streets (driver’s hands must be on the steering wheel). Tesla states that Autosteer may not be available to every Tesla owner. Determining factors include market region, software version, and vehicle model.
Drivers should note that, despite the name, the FSD capability doesn’t make the car fully autonomous. A driver still needs to be present and engaged, ready to take over for the system at any point.
What Happened with Tesla FSD in Toronto?
The beta version of the Full Self-Driving Tesla was first introduced to Canada in March 2022. However, the service didn’t work in downtown Toronto.
The explanation was that the streetcars running through the city were not being accurately picked up by the FSD system. A temporary geofence was put up to prevent FSD from being activated in the area.
In November 2022, the geofence was removed, allowing Tesla owners to use FSD in downtown Toronto with the latest version of FSD Beta, release 10.69.3.1.
What Does It Cost?
In the United States, Tesla owners can access FSD with a monthly subscription. In Canada, however, drivers have to pay a one-time price for the feature.
In September 2022, Tesla increased the price of the FSD capability. Previously, the feature was available for $12,800. CEO Elon Musk claimed this rate would rise to $15,000 for Canadians, but it ended up being much higher. Now, FSD is available for $19,500 (a 52% increase).
How to Access FSD
FSD is sold separately from Tesla vehicles. The vehicle model you select must have an FSD computer 3.0 or higher and Basic or Enhanced Autopilot to be compatible with FSD. You can have an FSD computer installed in your vehicle if it doesn’t have one already.
Before you can purchase Tesla’s FSD Beta, you must allow the automaker to track and assess your driving behaviours. Tesla monitors your habits in the following categories to calculate your safety score out of 100 after 30 days:
- forward collisions warnings (FCWs): driving too fast in relation to the distance of the vehicle/object ahead of you
- hard braking: braking too suddenly/aggressively
- aggressive turning: going too fast around tight turns
- unsafe following: driving too closely to the vehicle in front of you (similar to FCWs, but only calculated when driving over 80 km/h)
- forced Autopilot disengagement: Autopilot disengaging after you ignore warnings to apply pressure to the steering wheel
You must achieve a safety score of 80 or higher to access FSD Beta. If you have an acceptable score, you can purchase the capability from your vehicle’s touchscreen. For more information on Teslas, check out our blog.