Tesla sold FSD to 400,000 people in US and Canada alone, most have access to FSD Beta

    Tesla has just released their Q4 2022 shareholder deck. Contained within the document are many strong indicators for the company, including a 51% YoY revenue growth and $22.2B in cash in the bank and on investment.

    One of the biggest opportunities for the business is its efforts in autonomy. In the deck, we learned Tesla has now sold their Full Self Driving package to approximately 400,000 customers in US and Canada alone. Tesla offers FSD in many markets so while we don’t get the total number globally, this is certainly an impressive number.

    Tesla says that nearly all customers in the US and Canada have access to FSD Beta, while we don’t know how many have opted in. The software upgrade is offered in both outright purchase and monthly subscription options.

    On the right of page 10, we see a graph that indicates the growth in miles driven with FSD beta. Since launching to a small, select group of beta testers in October 2020, the miles started to take off around a year later. By December 2021, FSD Beta had reached around 10 million miles driven, which has continued to ramp up as the number of users continued to grow.

    By August 2022, the FSD Beta miles driven had surpassed 50 million, and continued to rise up to around 90 million miles by December last year.

    Tesla also re-iterates the safety data provided in the recent safety report, although that only extends to Q3. It shows the average US average for miles driven between accidents, is much lower (worse) than Tesla vehicles. If you drive a Tesla and don’t use Autopilot, you’ll at least double that average distance between crashes.

    If you enable Autopilot (Tesla doesn’t break out AP vs FSD vs FSD Beta), the number of miles travelled between accidents skyrockets to many multiples of the US average. Tesla recorded one crash for every 6.26 million miles driven in which drivers were using Autopilot technology.

    The takeaway here is that despite people’s concerns about Tesla’s Autonomous efforts are not reflected in the data.

    This data will be important to regulators as Tesla marches towards a point where they will start to let customers take their hands off the wheel and monitor the driver’s attentiveness. The next extension of this will be a higher level of autonomy, where the human is no longer responsible for the operation of the vehicle and Tesla would then take liability for accidents caused by their software.

    While there’s been much speculation around when Tesla vehicles become fully autonomous, delivering on the FSD title, predicting this is almost certainly going to be wrong and it’s clear not even Tesla knows when this will be as many deadlines have been missed.

    Predicting a software development timeline for something that’s never been done before is insanely difficult and virtually impossible, you can have a number of indicators that suggest the development path ahead may align with an arbitrary timeline, but unforeseen factors often cause delays. When those delays require some fundamental rewrites or a transition from legacy heuristic code that needs to transition to AI to power path planning, command and control and more.

    The roadmap for FSD Beta is to deliver V11 as soon as this weekend (probably not), which should for the first time deliver the long-awaited single-stack which will see the same code used on city streets, and highways and include an actual smart summon for low-speed environments.

    The international Tesla community is also waiting for the introduction of FSD Beta. Early Tesla Semi customers like PepsiCo / Frito-lay are also waiting for Autopilot.

    Jason Cartwright
    Jason Cartwright
    Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021

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