Just in case anyone was wondering whether or not Tesla's Full Self Driving version 9.0 beta - with the company now ditching radar and relying on a "camera focused Autopilot system" - was going to be the improvement that finally solved everything, let us be the first to say that it isn't.
The much heralded update to Full Self Driving, which arrived about a month late and had been touted as a solution to the last beta, which was such a disaster it was pulled off the market quickly, appears to be more of the same: jerky movements, uncertain vehicle operation and constant necessary interruptions from the driver.
And now Tesla has a warning for those beta testing version 9.0: its full self-driving software "may do the wrong thing at the worst time", according to Sky News. Musk said the newest update to the full self-driving capability "addresses most known issues", Sky News reported, but added "there will be unknown issues, so please be paranoid".
It is part of a broader piece of messaging to customers to make sure they continue to pay attention at the wheel while Full-Self Driving is on, despite the fact that Elon Musk himself said in 2019 that the reliability of Full-Self Driving in 2020 would be such that "no one needs to pay attention".
Tesla in 2019: "Next year no one needs to pay attention!"— Bullshit Exposed (@BS__Exposed) April 3, 2021
Tesla in 2021: Removes software from drivers that was purchased for $10,000 because they did not pay enough attention.
This is the epitome of a bait and switch scam. pic.twitter.com/fBcTkOdsSl
The reason Tesla wants customers to pay attention all of a sudden is because the company's Full Self Driving 9.0 is launching customers erratically down roads across the U.S., as indicated by this video of the hardware taking over one Tesla and nearly driving it into columns on the road.
Feature complete pic.twitter.com/jvhvzL6zo1— Quoth the Raven (@QTRResearch) July 10, 2021
Watch a Tesla employee take a 26-minute drive in downtown San Francisco on Tesla's highly anticipated FSD Beta V9.— Taylor Ogan (@TaylorOgan) July 12, 2021
Keep in mind, Tesla calls this "Full Self-Driving". Imagine 150,000 of these on the road, @SecretaryPete. Be safe out there.
Full video: https://t.co/r7OUIY4oZa pic.twitter.com/Et3uc0EkEv
After Full Self Driving 9.0's release, even the company's biggest fans like Galileo Russell said he saw little difference between the last beta and this one - and he still thinks the company is "still a long way away" to truly autonomous driving "where you never have to intervene".
Recall, Elon Musk withdrew the company's Full Self Driving beta v8.2 after it was absolutely thrashed by critics like Road and Track who called it "laughably bad" and "potentially dangerous".
As a reminder, Musk said in 2019 he was "very confident" in predicting autonomous robotaxis "next year", which would have been 2020, which has now turned into "last year" and is six months away from being "two years ago":
Recall, earlier this year Tesla offered up another reality check when it admitted to regulators that it was still "firmly in level 2" autonomy.
The company "told a California regulator that it may not achieve full self-driving technology by the end of this year," according to Reuters back in May. The memo was originally unearthed by legal website PlainSite.
"Tesla indicated that Elon is extrapolating on the rates of improvement when speaking about L5 capabilities. Tesla couldn’t say if the rate of improvement would make it to L5 by end of calendar year," the memo said.
It continued: "Tesla indicated that they are still firmly in L2. As Tesla is aware, the public’s misunderstanding about the limits of the technology and its misuse can have tragic consequences."