Those of us who paid for Full Self-Driving but who were not included in the initial test groups, Tesla employees and carefully selected customers, will get access to the BUTTON on Friday, September 24th.
But the BUTTON doesn't mean that you will be added to the widened group of beta testers. You have to earn it. Here's how.
This article is likely of interest only to people who paid for FSD, are in the US and who want to volunteer to teach the computer how to drive. I want to stress that this is a volunteer job. You won't earn a penny for doing this.
Pushing the button is not enough. You have to agree to allow Tesla insurance to absorb data from your driving for a week. Then Tesla will decide if it wants you in the expanded group of beta testers.
Remember, becoming a beta tester doesn't mean that your car can drive itself without your intervention. Quite the reverse. Tesla is looking for volunteers who will teach the neural network how to drive like a professional chauffeur. That's professional chauffeur, not professional race car driver.
Factors Tesla Insurance Uses
Luckily for us, a while back Reddit user /u/Callump01 reverse engineered the Tesla app to determine exactly which events Tesla uses when determining a driver's safety rating.
Callump01 was able to determine that Tesla uses these metrics when determining a driver's premium:
ABS Activation - Number of times ABS is activated
Hours Driven - Average daily driving time
Forced Autopilot Disengagements - Number of times Autopilot is disabled due to ignored alerts
Forward Collision Warnings - Number of times car detects a potential forward collision
Unsafe Following Time - Portion of time spent at an unsafe following distance
Intensity of Acceleration and Braking - Speed variance due to extreme acceleration and braking. Shown on a scale from 0-10 as measured against Tesla's internal fleet.
So here's what to do during the week where you are being evaluated by the insurance software.
Drive places. If your car is parked all the time, the software won't be able to assess your driving skill.
Engage FSD whenever possible. Tesla will want to recruit volunteers who are actually interested in using FSD. Elon Musk has said that someone who uses Autopilot would fall into the “good" category.
Drive on city streets and country roads. Autopilot is already pretty good at driving on limited access highways.
Don't accelerate aggressively unless you must do so to avoid a crash. Insurance algorithms don't like aggressive drivers.
Reduce ABS Usage
Focus far ahead. One of the statistics that is kept is the number of times ABS was activated. Reducing this number shows less aggressive driving. If you see that you are going to have to stop for a light or a stop sign, tap the brake to go out of FSD so you can slow down with regenerative braking. Insurance algorithms don't like aggressive braking, and, unfortunately, Tesla FSD, waits too long to slow down for signals and stop signs. Then it brakes aggressively. So using FSD to come to a stop will hurt your score.
Don't Accelerate Too Quickly
Don't speed very much. The Tesla insurance algorithm will look at your intensity of acceleration in addition to braking. Sometimes, you have to go faster than the posted speed limit in order to keep up with traffic. If you are in a situation where all the traffic is going faster than the posted speed limit, then you can speed up a bit, but try to stay as close to the speed limit as you can without blocking traffic. Remember, if you have to speed, keep up with the slower speeders, not the faster speeders.
If the car is braking for no apparent reason, phantom braking, use the accelerator to move the car along.
If you are approaching a sharp curve there are two things you need to think about. Without the beta version of FSD, some curves are too sharp, and standard FSD will stop working in the middle of the curve. I've experienced this at certain curves in my area. If this happens, it will lower your score. So the two things to do are, first, lower your speed before the curve by tapping the brake, and second, steer the car around the curve yourself before re-engaging FSD.
When you're using Autopilot, pay attention to the alerts. Tesla will track the number of times that Autopilot has been disengaged.
Keep Your Distance
You'll also want to pay close attention to objects in front of your. Tesla will be looking at the number of times Forward Collision Warnings have gone off.
Use a follow distance greater than one or two. Another metric that Tesla insurance uses to measure how safe someone is driving is by their follow distance. If someone follows too closely for long periods of time, this will lower their Tesla insurance rating as well.
Obey traffic rules whenever possible. Yield the right of way when you don't have the right of way. Take the right of way when you do have it, but don't crash just because you are entitled to the right of way.
Be careful to yield to pedestrians and bicyclists. Even if you have the right of way, it will mess up your day if you hit a pedestrian or a bicyclist. And you won't get to be a beta tester for FSD.
After you activate the button on September 24th the Tesla insurance calculator will show your rating in real-time so that you can tell how you're driving and can adjust accordingly. It'll also provide additional details on what is rated a “good" driver.
Tesla insurance calculator will show status in real-time & tell you what actions are needed to be rated “good driver"
The button will be available this Friday, presumably in your car. Stay tuned for more details. Tesla FSD Beta 10.1 which is set be released on October 1st, will introduce new features such as merged NNs for highway and city driving, as well as the ability to go in reverse.
Henry Farkas is a retired country doctor. He bought his Tesla Model 3 in the middle of the pandemic.
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As the Senior Director of Charging Infrastructure at Tesla, Rebecca Tinucci is not just a key executive in the company but also a pivotal figure in the electric vehicle industry. She has been recognized as one of the "100 Most Influential Climate Leaders in Business for 2023" by Time Magazine.
Well Deserved Recognition
Tinucci's notable achievement in 2023 was her successful negotiation with other leading EV manufacturers to expand access to Tesla's charging network across the United States. This strategic move involved integrating major automotive brands such as BMW, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, and Toyota into Tesla's charging ecosystem.
This expansion has made Tesla's charging standard the de facto choice in North America and opened new revenue streams for the company by welcoming non-Tesla EV owners to use its network. Additionally, it has positioned Tesla to benefit from federal charging infrastructure funding, from which it was previously excluded.
This strategic expansion under Tinucci's leadership signifies a monumental shift in the EV charging landscape. By creating a more inclusive charging network, Tesla has not only bolstered its position in the market but also contributed significantly to the broader adoption of EVs, reinforcing the company's commitment to sustainability and innovation.
Tinucci was a shining star among Tesla's leadership during the Investor Day 2023 event in March. She enthusiastically led the audience through Tesla's charging advancements and teased the future. Tinucci was the one to first hint at the Tesla retro diner that is now under construction in Los Angeles. She also gave a lot of ammunition to speculate about a possible charging pad.
Educational and Early Professional Foundations
After completing her Commerce, Finance, and Management studies at the University of Virginia, Tinucci embarked on her professional journey in 2008 as a Management Consultant at Kurt Salmon Associates in New York. In 2009, she ventured into entrepreneurship by establishing Evatran. This enterprise, known as Plugless Power in the market, specializes in the pioneering field of wireless EV charging.
Tinucci's career took a significant turn when she relocated to the West Coast in 2018 and joined Tesla in a pivotal role as a Senior Product Manager. She distinguished herself by forming and leading a team focused on developing Machine Vision technologies for advanced manufacturing processes there. Her ability to drive progress was quickly recognized, leading to her promotion to Senior Program Manager of the Energy Group within just four months, where she focused on software development and pivotal strategic projects.
Ascending the Ranks at Tesla
Tinucci's climb through Tesla's ranks was rapid and impactful. She soon took on the role of Staff Technical Program Manager, where she was responsible for overseeing critical initiatives throughout the engineering division. As the Senior Manager for Super Charging, she played a crucial role in Tesla's expansion, implementing innovative features such as integrating wait times into Tesla's navigation system for busy Supercharger stations and introducing variable charging rates based on the time of day at selected locations.
Her promotion to Senior Director of Charging Infrastructure marked a significant milestone in her career. Tinucci oversees Tesla's worldwide charging business units in this role, directing a team of more than 450 professionals. Her recognition by Time Magazine underscores her influence and the critical role she plays in advancing sustainable transportation solutions. As she continues to lead Tesla's charging infrastructure to new heights, her contributions are setting new benchmarks in the EV assigning domain.
We have good news if you happened to be one of the first handful of people who took delivery of a Cybertruck on November 30. More than 25 accessories are available for purchase to amp up the most talked about vehicle on the planet.
Cybertruck Color Paint Film, Matte Black or Matte White
There are three wraps available for the Cybertruck
We thought wraps would become available, but surprisingly, Tesla is offering the service immediately. Cybertruck wraps are available in matte black or white for $6,500. This premium wrap option allows owners to personalize their vehicle and adds a layer of protection to the Cybertruck's already robust exterior.
Another option for those seeking to maintain the Cybertruck's appearance is the transparent satin film, available for $5,000. This film provides an extra layer of protection, helping keep the vehicle's body safe from scratches and the elements.
Basecamp - The Outdoor Enthusiast's Dream
Basecamp is a tent made specifically for the Cybertruck
Since day one, four years ago, people have been talking about the camping capabilities of the Cybertruck. Like most trucks, it's unlikely that most Cybertrucks will even leave the pavement. However, for those who love the great outdoors, the Cybertruck BaseCamp has you covered.
Priced at $2,975, this accessory is perfect for camping, featuring an ultra-light geodesic air-frame design. It inflates quickly, offers a tactical grey kaleidoscope-patterned interior, and includes screen windows for airflow and star-gazing, making it an ideal companion for outdoor adventures.
More Shopping Options
A foldable ramp for the Cybertruck adds more utility
Tailgate Ramp ($400): is a practical addition for loading and unloading cargo like ATVs or dirt bikes, enhancing the Cybertruck's utility.
Cybertruck MOLLE Panels ($250): we saw these at the Tesla Lithium factory groundbreaking. Customize and organize your Cybertruck with the MOLLE Panels for $250, offering versatile mounting options for gear and tools.
Tesla is offering a roof rack for the Cybertruck, similar to other models
The roof rack costs $800 and is an essential accessory that offers additional storage options for long trips.
Vault Cargo Divider ($350): This divider allows for better organization and secure transportation of goods in the truck's bed.
Snow Chains $345: a must-have for driving in snowy terrains, ensuring safety and traction in challenging conditions.
Additional Cybertruck Accessories: Enhancing Functionality and Style
Cybertruck Air Compressor Ultra + Tire Repair Kit: Keep your journey uninterrupted with the Cybertruck Air Compressor Ultra and Tire Repair Kit, priced at $550. This kit ensures that you're prepared for any tire-related emergencies on the road, which becomes since the Cybertruck doesn't come standard with a spare tire. This item will become available in early 2024, according to Tesla.
Cybertruck Bumper Protectors: Protect your Cybertruck's exterior with durable bumper protectors for $80, safeguarding against scratches and dents.
Cybertruck Glass Roof Sunshade: For $115, the Cybertruck Glass Roof Sunshade reduces sunlight glare and heat, making it a must have in extreme temperatures.
Cybertruck Spare Tire + Tool Kit: Although the Cybertruck doesn't come standard with a spare tire, you can buy one to tie down in the truck's bed. The Cybertruck Spare Tire and Tool Kit is $1,250.
The OMFG glass decal for the Cybertruck
My personal favorite is the Cybertruck OMFG Decal for $55. The window didn't smash during the delivery event when it was hit with a baseball, like it did with a steel ball at the Cybertruck announcement four years ago. However, you can relive that moment and have an OMFG Decal.
TeslaFi logs your drives and charging sessions, letting you keep a log of your vehice's activity. We highly recommend checking them out if you use your car for business trips and would like to keep track of reimbursements, if you like to see how much you spend on charging or if you just love statistics. Visit their site and see everything they have to offer!
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Tesla Android Project enables you to run Android apps in your Tesla. The platform is Open Source and you can deploy it on your own Raspberry Pi 4. Consider supporting the initiative by donating or purchasing the Compute Module 4 Bundle that delivers the best experience. Get $20 off by using the code: NotATeslaApp
The official Tesla app only notifies you if your car is broken into. By installing Sentry Pro on your phone, you will be notified for all Sentry Mode events. Stay connected and avoid potential surprises by receiving notifications. Stop constantly checking the cameras to ensure safety. Check only when necessary, save battery and get peace of mind. Get a 7 day free trial here!