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After the last road trip to Colorado and back, last September, we qualified for FSD Beta.

We test drove around home running errands and found the latest version, to be pretty good. The car still has issues with lane merges and lane terminations. Around town we did not notice any “phantom braking”, or cruise control suspensions. But, we were only ever on the freeway for maybe a half hour and only ten to fifteen minutes of continuous cruise control driving.

For this trip we were headed to Scottsdale, Arizona to visit family for a week. The long drive across the desert via Interstate 10 would be our first experience with FSD beta in that environment. For the trip out I set up navigation to our destination and let Tesla calculate our charge stops. The first was the, now usual Cabezon Outlet mall. Once at the charge point, I added the next stop at Quartzite to be closer to noon, about two hours away. We were traveling with our grandson and figured getting him out for a walk or run every couple of hours was a good idea. With that stop at Quartzite we were able to continue to our destination without further charging stops.

The drive out to Scottsdale was uneventful, other than two times FSD had to be disengaged due to the car not changing lanes to exit the freeway for charging. First at the Cabezon outlet chargers and last at Quartzite charger. Other than those and a few lane merge/departure wanders the trip was more or less uneventful.

While in-town we charged at a Super Charger off Shea and the 101 Loop in Scottsdale. This proved to be a fast and easy in and out charge point.

That all changed the morning we left Scottsdale. About 3 miles north of the intersection of Loop 101 and Loop 202 FSD blared a warning while driving along in open lanes with little traffic and the closest cars ahead, maybe 200 feet or more away, FSD disengaged along with the cruise control suddenly slowing the car with traffic fast approaching from the rear. A brief flash of a red steering wheel on the lefthand screen with the words “Take Control” displayed above was all we saw. Both my my hands were on the wheel at the time and I could feel steering resistance in my hands. We had just passed under the sign over the freeway showing the 202 exits to be 3 miles ahead. We lost all cruise control and FSD and lane maintenance. We also lost all sensor information of the surrounding traffic and the freeway markings showed in only very light grey. Navigation did not stop. All the cameras were functioning as far as we could see from checking on the display. Once we got to a rest area, I re-booted the system by holding both steering wheel buttons down. After using the rest area facilities I noted the display still showed “Lane Departure Disabled” and a second warning, “Cruise Control Disabled”, and “Emergency Braking Disabled”. But, after selecting reverse to back out of the parking space, these warning disappeared and FSD Beta was back.

This lasted until FSD suddenly and without warning disengaged similar to the first time, but without losing the surrounding traffic imaging. Cruise control was still available, but the auto steering part of FSD was not.

This would be repeated three more times and after the fourth time I quit using FSD and only used Auto Pilot cruise control. Auto Pilot disengaged as we neared our exit at from the toll road extension at Cow Camp, about a mile north of that intersection. No cars ahead, nothing, the car just sounded an alarm to take control, with nothing ahead it disengaged. Sudden slowing and and even pushing the accelerator did not initially counter the deceleration. We drove home even more exhausted from the strain of not knowing what the car was going to do when. In other words, I as the driver and my family as passengers could not trust the car to operate as intended or expected.

After the first episode, I logged a service appointment. I’ve composed this in order to be certain to remember all the information. We did not get screen photos of the first few incidents. We were busy with navigating to a safe stopping point.

That first incident, the car was traveling in the lane to exit at the 202 WB on the SB 101 in Scottsdale, Arizona at about 11:00AM local time at a speed of around 65 – 67 mph. Clear weather, light traffic, as related above nearest forward traffic was 200 or more feet away. The follow distance for the car was set to “7”.

The above images are form the last instance of the FSD disengaging.

Overall impressions:

Super Charging: Very easy for this route. Averaged $.41/kWh.

FSD, 22.36.20: The car doesn’t exit freeway when it needs to or imitate turn signals each time. Navigation across the Phoenix valley was fine. No issues.

In general though navigating to our grandson’s pre-school the navigation always wants to go in from the wrong way thinking the end-to-end cut-de-sacs are a thru street.

No other issues with the car.

Now, today, 12/18/2022, I did a bit over an hour test drive split between the toll road and the interstate. I used FSD Beta almost the entire time, except when I had to disengage to exit the freeway or toll road. No issues or drops of the FSD. Worked as well as it ever has.

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