FSD Beta 10.2: Who got it and what's new
October 11, 2021
By Nuno Cristovao
The first FSD Beta public expansion is finally here. Some of us have been waiting since April for this day. It's fashionably late, as they say. Tesla has released FSD Beta 10.2 with the release of 2021.32.25 to testers. This is also the first beta to see a public expansion. It was released to owners with the highest Safety Scores.
Elon previously tweeted that there were about 1,000 users with a perfect Safety Score, and they would be receiving the FSD Beta, although it looks like not everyone with a score of 100 has received it yet. It's up to interpretation what a perfect score with 100/100 could mean, but it could be that a 100 score isn't enough and you need to be under a certain threshold for some of the events that the Safety Score keeps track of. Interestingly, Elon specified that it was only released to owners who had a score of 100 and over 100 miles driven.
Up until today, everyone who received the FSD Beta also needed to agree to an NDA. The NDA stated that you can not post images, videos or discuss the FSD Beta. With the release of 10.2 Tesla has dropped this requirement and owners are no longer prevented from sharing videos and discussing the beta. Previously, there were many YouTubers that posted videos of the beta online, but it appears that there were no consequences for doing so.
Tesla may have been trying to protect itself from negative publicity related to the beta and prevent any bad mouthing. It seems Tesla already received plenty of unwarranted negative attention any time there is an accident or fire.
Removing the NDA requirements shows that Tesla is showing increasing confidence in its FSD program.
With the release of 10.2, Tesla no longer allows you to use Autopilot with the cabin camera obscured. If you cover the interior camera Tesla will flash a warning on screen and Autopilot will be disabled.
Tesla has relied on steering wheel tension to detect driver inattention ever since they introduced Autopilot v1. It was clear they could do better and introducing the cabin camera with it's active driver monitoring is a big step in the right direction.
By actively monitoring the driver Tesla can reduce nag screens and alert the driver the moment they become distracted instead of waiting to test for tension on the steering wheel again.
I understand many people are going to have a problem with a camera that's always recording, but the truth of the matter is that similar devices are already around you today. If you have a smartphone then you may already have "Hey, Siri" or "Hey, Google" activated, which is constantly monitoring the audio in the room. In your home you may have Alexa or Google Assistant devices. Your smartphone may do face scans like Face ID, instead of using a fingerprint.
These devices exist because they're convenient and they work well. Tesla's implementation is similar or in some ways safer than these other devices. All recordings from Tesla's cabin camera to check for driver inattention are processed in the car and are never sent to Tesla. Tesla's driver monitoring system is a better way of detecting whether the driver is paying attention and it's keeping you safer as well.
Many testers are reporting that the car visualization on screen appears slightly different. The color of the car appears shinier and more metallic and is a more accurate representation of the paint job on the car.
Unfortunately it does not appear that the stack to rule them all is in this release. We know that Tesla is working on combining the tech stacks for highway and city driving. Elon has said this was close to being released several betas ago, but it's understandable that this is complicated and Tesla could be running into edge cases.
Tesla was initially going to include the single-stack in version 10.1 of the FSD Beta, but we may have to wait until the next major release (v11) before seeing it implemented.
Tesla's FSD Beta comes in as release 2021.32.25, but the release notes packaged with the firmware are the same as previous betas. It's possible that Elon may offer technical release notes like we saw with the release of the 9.2, but we haven't received any thus far.
Update: We take a look at some of the latest FSD Beta 10.2 videos and first impressions of new testers.