Europe, where Tesla has just opened a production site, is an important market for the electric vehicle manufacturer and its CEO.
The manufacturer of electric vehicles opened its first European factory in March, the company’s third, near Berlin. This site, which houses a vehicle assembly plant and a battery development plant, primarily serves the European market and will enable Tesla to significantly increase its production volumes.
Musk said Tesla, which delivered nearly a million vehicles in 2021, is expected to deliver at least 1.5 million cars in 2022 despite supply chain disruptions, chip shortages and soaring prices raw materials like nickel.
If European customers appreciated these marks of interest, they were nevertheless left unsatisfied. Because, unlike U.S. and Canadian customers, they still do not have access to the advanced version of Full Self-Driving (FSD) software.
Musk said in January that thanks to the advancements and innovations made by the company, FSD would enable Tesla cars to be self-driving by the end of 2022. The advanced version of FSD is called FSD Beta. And it’s for Tesla car owners who wish to help the firm test and collect data for their FSD program. The Betas are opt-in only.
A Tesla owner must have the FSD package or a monthly subscription, a supported vehicle/hardware, be in a supported region, and have a high safety score to be admitted into the Beta tests. The FSD costs $12,000.
In addition to simple maneuvers like lane change, auto park, FSD Beta “actively guides your car from a highway’s on-ramp to off-ramp, including suggesting lane changes, navigating interchanges, automatically engaging the turn signal and taking the correct exit,” Tesla said.
It also “identifies stop signs and traffic lights and automatically slows your car to a stop on approach, with your active supervision.”
The very latest version of FSD Beta, 10.12.2, is now available to testers, but Musk said on Twitter that the goal is to expand it to 100,000 cars. Tesla says FSD Beta 10.12.2 improves the decision making, a better and accurate vision of pedestrians, bikes as well as motorcycles.
And version 10.13 is already on the horizon, according to Musk.
“10.13 smooths out intersection control, especially long lefts, and starts to handle roads with no map data at all,” the tech tycoon posted on Twitter on June 4.
This version of FSD Beta will allow Tesla cars to perform maneuvers alone on roads whose data is not listed on any map. In this case, the car will rest on its vision-based self-driving components to navigate roads where GPS signal is nonexistent.
“Last point is a big deal,” Musk confirmed. “Within a few months, FSD should be able to drive to a GPS point with zero map data.”
“Can we get more precise drop off locations for hotels here in Vegas. I give it the address and it’s done routing on Las Vegas Blvd in front of the hotel,” a Twitter user asked the serial entrepreneur. “Would be beneficial to Tesla to watch Rideshare drivers like me where real drop off and pick up locations are. Let’s map this.”
“Yes, car will navigate to a pin location, even if in a complex surface parking lot or hotel entrance,” the billionaire entrepreneur answered. “When in covered or underground parking lots, car will have to navigate using only inertial measurement, wheel movement & vision, as GPS signal is no longer available.”
FSD in Europe Soon
That’s when a user asked Musk if he could give an update on the situation in Europe where FSD is still unavailable for legal and regulatory reasons.
“Niiice, so when will we get an update in the EU? Darn regulations,” the user posted.
“We are close to the point where offering something for EU regulators to review makes sense,” Musk responded.
The introduction of FSD in other regions other than North America comes up against several difficulties: new languages, new signs, traffic patterns, right-of-way issues, etc. There are also left-hand markets and right-hand driving (RHD) in some European countries like the U.K.
Musk’s new announcement backs up one of his Twitter posts from March in which the mogul said Tesla might be introducing FSD to Europe this summer.
“FSD Beta should be available in Europe for LHD this summer, RHD a few months later. These dates depend on regulatory approval,” he said on March 29.
Tesla faces a big challenge in Europe. Indeed, legislation in some countries does not allow a vehicle to perform maneuvers alone. It is therefore possible that on the same road connecting two countries, the vehicle goes from legal to illegal.