Tesla Launches FSD Button and Safety Score (Beta)

by Denis Gurskiy

For months now we have been waiting for Tesla to release “the button” that would allow the general public to access the beta versions of FSD software. The time has finally come and the button is out, but you have to prove you’re a safe driver first.

For the longest of times, FSD beta software has been limited to a handful of drivers in Tesla’s early access program. Of course, many owners have been curious about the bleeding edge versions and have wanted to try out the newest versions themselves.  Earlier this year, Musk announced that Tesla would push an update that would allow regular owners to opt-in to receive the beta FSD software.

This accomplishes two things. Allows owners some fun new features to play with, and gives Tesla a wider sample size for its beta software. In classic Tesla fashion, the button had a lot of “2 weeks from now” deadlines that came and went. But finally, with the 2021.32.22 Tesla software update, the button was pushed out.

But not every FSD-capable Tesla owner was going to be able to use the software. Tesla wants to make sure that the potentially dangerous updates are given to attentive and safe drivers. So while the button is out, it will actually take seven days for Tesla to determine if you are a safe driver or not, and then allow beta software to be pushed. 

To quantify how safe you are, Tesla has come up with the Safety Score (Beta).

Safety Score (Beta)

Tesla’s safety score collects your driving data for the past 30 days and assigns it a score between 0 and 100, with most drivers scoring 80 or above.

The safety score is determined scoring five different safety factors. The five are: Forward Collision Warning per 1,000 miles, Hard Braking, Aggressive Turning, Unsafe Following, and Forced Autopilot Disengagements. 

Forward Collision Warnings and Forced Autopilot Disengagements should be self-explanatory for most people to understand. The other three however are defined with values that have been determined through Tesla billions of miles of data collection. 

  • Hard Braking is defined as “backward acceleration, measured by your Tesla vehicle, in excess of 0.3g. This is the same as a decrease in the vehicle’s speed larger than 6.7 mph, in one second. “
  • Aggressive Turning is defined as “as left/right acceleration, measured by your Tesla vehicle, in excess of 0.4g. This is the same as an increase in the vehicles speed to the left/right larger than 8.9 mph, in one second.”
  • Unsafe Following is a little harder to understand but it takes into account your speed and the car in front’s speed. From this, the system comes up with a headway, which is the amount of time you would have to react and stop if the car in front suddenly stopped.  Thus Unsafe Following is “the proportion of time where your vehicle’s headway is less than 1.0 seconds relative to the time that your vehicle’s headway is less than 3.0 seconds.” This is only accounted for when the car is traveling over 50 mph, so bumper-to-bumper traffic should not have an effect.

All of the values from these safety factors are plugged into a Predicted Collision Frequency (PCF) equation that gives you the final 0-100 score. 

Also, events that take place while Autopilot is engaged (other than Forced Autopilot Disengagements) will not impact the safety score. So if you experience hard braking while Autopilot is engaged, it will not be a demerit.

You will be able to track how well you are scoring in each category through the Tesla app.

As with most things in Tesla, the values will most likely be tweaked and different metrics might be added. For more information about the Safety Score and tips on how to improve in each safety metric, check here.

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