Tesla’s Full Self-Driving is not an Advanced Driver Assistance System.

  • Full Self-Driving does not assist the driver of the car.
  • To drive a car the driver must from time to time turn the steering wheel and apply pressure to the brakes, otherwise the “driver” isn’t driving at all; but turning the steering wheel or touching the brakes in an FSD Tesla car, actually switches off Full Self-Driving!
    • When someone is driving the car, Full Self-Driving is off!
    • Therefore it can’t ever assist the driver in any way.
    • It is not a driver assist system of any sort.
    • So, it certainly isn’t an Advanced Driver Assist system (ADAS).
  • The primary argument given by those who say Full Self-Driving is an Advanced Drive Assist System is that the written instructions for using Full Self-Driving state that the driver must keep their hands on the wheel at all times and be fully attentive.
    • But Full Self-Driving software does not require the person in the driver’s seat to keep their hands on the steering wheel.  All that it requires is that the person in the driver’s seat lightly tap the steering wheel with one finger every 20 seconds or so.
    • In practice, in nearly all the thousands of YouTube videos of Full Self-Driving, the person in the driver’s seat only puts their hands on the steering wheel to disengage Full Self-Driving or to reassure it that they have not fallen asleep.
    • When engaged, Full Self-Driving is in control of moving the steering wheel. If the person in the driver’s seat holds the steering wheel with more than slight pressure, then when Full Self-Driving begins to turn the steering wheel to execute a turn, it will detect the resistance to its movement from the “driver’s” hands on the steering wheel and Full Self-Driving will disengage.
    • In order to keep Full Self-Driving engaged while the person in the driver’s seat has their hands on the steering wheel, they must move their hands as if they are making each turn exactly as Full Self-Driving is actually moving the steering wheel. If Full Self-Driving takes the turn more or less sharply than the person in the driver’s seat would like, the person in the driver’s seat must acquiesce to Full Self-Driving’s decision and move their hands in harmony with Full Self-Driving, otherwise Full Self-Driving will disengage. This takes more effort than regular driving. It is certainly not assistance.
    • Keeping your hands on the steering wheel during left turns is often impossible. Full Self-Driving will often turn the steering wheel left and right in indecision in a manner that makes no sense at all.  At that point the person in the driver’s seat must either take their hands off the wheel (trusting their life to the software at the point of greatest danger), or grab the wheel to disengage Full Self-Driving. The person in the driver’s seat is not driving – they are assisting Full Self-Driving’s driving!

A driver of an ordinary car only needs to be aware of whether there is a car in their left or right side blind spot when they intend to make a lane change.  But Full Self-Driving may suddenly, without warning, veer into an adjacent lane for no reason when there is a car in the blind spot. The person in the driver’s seat must always be fully aware of what is in both of their blind spots to remain safe.  This requires the person in the driver’s seat to rapidly and continuously switch their attention between what is in front of them and what is in the car’s two blind spots. In addition, the person in the driver’s seat must keep their hands hovering near the steering wheel at all times, ready to grab the wheel to prevent Full Self-Driving from killing everyone in the car and/or nearby pedestrians and cyclists.

On 6 December 2022, Tesla’s most prominent and vocal Full Self-Driving supporter, Omar Qazi, who runs the pro-Tesla Full Self-Driving “WholeMarsBlog” social media accounts took to Twitter to publicly complain about problems with Tesla’s Full Self-Driving software, saying that he is “kind of sick of FSD Beta.” He stated that he was “going to spend a week going back to driving manually”, and that not using Tesla Full Self-Driving is “so much faster, more efficient, and more comfortable that it’s not even funny”. Full Self-Driving is clearly not assisting the driver. Even Omar agrees that it is a terrible ADAS system because driving manually is “much faster” and “more comfortable”.

A Full Self-Driving Tesla is an Autonomous Vehicle

If you tell Full Self-Driving where you want to go, it will, with no further human assistance:

  • Plot a route to your destination
  • Steer, accelerate, and brake as necessary to follow the route to your destination
  • Negotiate red lights, stop signs, speed limits, and double parked cars encountered along the way
  • Reroute when it encounters an obstacle that prevents it from following its original route
  • Stop at the destination.

Here is a 40-mile drive with no human assistance.

Here is a 350-mile drive with no human assistance.

Isn’t this the definition of an Autonomous Vehicle?

“Full Self-Driving” is the name of an Autonomous Vehicle.

Full Self-Driving was named, promoted, designed, implemented, beta tested, and sold solely as an Autonomous Vehicle.

Elon Musk:

  • Is the CEO of Tesla;
  • Is the only spokesperson for Tesla; and
  • Personally directs the Full Self Driving project. 

Elon Musk recently said that this year (2022) Full Self-Driving will be a better driver than a human.  How can a Full Self-Driving car be a better driver than a human and not be an Autonomous Vehicle? It is an Autonomous Vehicle.

Elon Musk recently bragged that Tesla has accumulated 35 million miles of autonomous driving with Full Self-Driving, more than all other autonomous cars put together. How did Full Self-Driving accumulate 35 million miles of autonomous driving if it is not an Autonomous Vehicle? It is an Autonomous Vehicle.

Hundreds of thousands of customers have paid up to $15,000 to buy Full Self-Driving.  They didn’t do it to get an ADAS system (which is free from every other manufacturer).  They did it based on Elon Musk’s repeated statements over the past 7 years, that within a year they would receive Full Self-Driving software that would make their Tesla car an Autonomous Vehicle that would not need any human supervision. It is an Autonomous Vehicle.

Full Self-Driving software converts any Tesla car manufactured after 2016 into an Autonomous Vehicle, irrespective of what Elon Musk told the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) and the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

It needs to be regulated as such.


Full Self-Driving has no utility

Full Self-Driving cannot assist the driver in any way, so it is not an Advanced Driver Assistance System.

Full Self-Driving is instead a horrendously bad Autonomous Vehicle that requires constant human supervision to prevent it from killing people.  All it does is turn your nice Tesla into a two ton death machine. In its current form it offers no value to anyone but Tesla and its shareholders, and is a great danger to all road users and pedestrians.

Elon Musk’s Full Self-Driving is primitive compared to the self-driving systems from other companies.  

The visual display is primitive, showing only icons for cars and stick figures for people. In this video the cop and the flag man are trying to direct Full Self-Driving with hand gestures.  But on the display the two icons for these two people never raise their hands or make any sort of gesture.  They seem to just be milling around.

The cars on the display show no detail and they pop in and out of existence disturbingly often.

By contrast, on Waymo’s LIDAR enabled display the cars are recognizable by make and model and the people have arms and legs that move normally including arm and hand movements. 

While Full Self-Driving is lucky to go 10 miles without requiring human intervention and correction, the leading autonomous vehicles can go tens of thousands of miles without requiring human intervention.

Don’t be manipulated by Elon Musk’s statements that Full Self-Driving is leading the world in Autonomous Vehicle technology, so slowing it down in any way will cost thousands or millions of lives in the future.

Tesla’s competition already has driverless Level 4 autonomous vehicles on the roads in cities around the globe.  This is an accomplishment Tesla can only dream of.

There is no chance that Tesla’s hopelessly obsolete incompetently designed Full Self-Driving software will ever save thousands or millions of lives.  If thousands or millions of lives are saved, it will be by Cruise, or Waymo, or pony.ai, or one of the many Chinese autonomous car developers, who are way ahead of Tesla in true self driving technology:



Putting a note in a manual doesn’t change a product, it only changes the manufacturer’s liability. It can’t change a Level 4 Autonomous Vehicle into a Level 2 ADAS system.  What matters is what the product does and how its customers use it, not what the manual says.

Can anyone scam the system and let loose the world’s worst imaginable Autonomous Vehicle onto our public streets with no license, approval, certification, regulation, oversight, third party review, testing, analysis, evaluation, reporting, notice, or limitation, just by putting a note in the manual that says you must keep your hands on the wheel when you don’t have to keep your hands on the wheel and it does not work if you do?

Well, Elon Musk did it, and it is called Full Self-Driving. He has sold and delivered Autonomous Vehicles to hundreds of thousands of customers for tens of billions of dollars.

Full Release of Autonomous Vehicles to the public has been accomplished (and no one noticed).

It must be recalled immediately.