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After the last road trip I qualified for FSD Beta. Once it was downloaded, I fiddled a bit to set it up under my driver profile.

My first trial of it was from home to Dana Point to pick our grandson up from school. I didn’t engage it until we were on Coast highway because the navigation wanted to drive up the freeway. I didn’t want my first experience to be on the freeway. There is a good bit to get used to without high speed nearing rush hour traffic.

On the Coast highway which is a two lane 45 mph road for much of the way, there was construction that closed the right lane where the road changes to four lanes. The software wanted to drive up the closing lane, so I disengaged. When I re-engaged after clearing the construction and moving into the right lane the software was very abrupt in accelerating, (mode is set to moderate or medium), and was not slowing for a 90° right turn for the cloverleaf intersection to PCH. I knew we needed to quickly move to the far left lane once on PCH because of more construction ahead. I left the car disengaged until clear of this construction. Once through Dana Point Lantern District PCH becomes a 50 mph four lane divided road into Laguna Nigel. The car recognized the speed change and again quickly accelerated then didn’t slow or signal to move to the right turn only lane; another disengagement. I left FSD off until back on PCH on our return trip home. Though disengaged to take the Coast Highway rather than the freeway.

I note the software does not slow prior to slower speed limit signs, rather waiting until past the sign. Likewise with faster signs. Not slowing prior to the sign is a good way to fall into a speed trap. Something to watch for.

Another test drive for errands. Up to Mission Viejo Mall and back. The car didn’t activate self parking in the parking garage. It turned into the wrong lane to get onto I-5 south. I had to disengage to take over and move to the correct lane. When lanes merge or diverge the car either freaks out with warning alarms or slows rapidly. Neither is a good choice though slowing quickly in traffic could end very poorly. Again disengagements.

The car doesn’t see up the road as far as I would like and certainly doesn’t see cross traffic far enough away for my taste.

Today, 10/03 we used FSD to drive home from getting our flu vaccines in San Juan Capistrano. The routing took us down the freeway, I-5 to what I feel is the worst route possible for turns and easier traffic. When I tired to make a lane change to the exit I prefer, the turn signal didn’t work at all. Rather than disengaging the FSD, I let it go to see how it worked. A bit scary when the car hesitates and jerks the wheel to steer at low speed with quick motions.Then slowing to a near stop in a narrow lane before proceeding. It worked and was never too close, but I was always covering the brake and accelerator as well as holding pressure on the steering wheel. Once the car got close to the house, one driveway away, it stopped in the street as if confused. There was following traffic so I disengaged and drove ahead to back into the driveway.

One other note from today was when driving into the medical center parking lot the car never recognized the clearly marked parking spaces to offer self parking. To date the ONLY place this has ever happened was at the Tesla Supercharger in West Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

I checked the other day and I was able to activate FSD Beta for the other drivers as well.


Software updated to FSD Beta

We tried this the first time on Monday driving to Dana Point and disengaged as it was entering PCH and hesitating too much while merging. Very aggressive right turn onto the school street.

The next attempt for the same trip on Wednesday I let the car slow to merge to PCH. Then disengaged to prevent the car from moving to the left lane. Used it later to drive to Orange Country airport. Disengaged to exit because the navigation want to take an odd route with many more turns.


We finally managed to get a self parking to light up. Now, this was the first time I’ve driven to the school and there were cars parked along the curb so I couldn’t just pull up easily. I stopped next to the car parked ahead of the spot. As I did, I noticed the blue outline of the spot between the cars out of the corner of my eye. While I was stopped I waited and looked at the screen and the auto parking pop-up appeared. I selected it and the car parked itself perfectly. The Tesla was parked parallel to the curb and centered in the space between the cars. It was quite a bit more efficient than I would have done myself.

This feature of FSD is why we ordered the option in the first place. We will get another chance for this feature each time we pick up our grandson from school.


When we got back from an early December trip to Arizona, we’d experienced a number of software-related anomalies. These unnerving incidents randomly occurred while using FSD on the freeways and interstate. I described these in detail previously here, LINK.

A service appointment was scheduled where nothing was found. There were no actual FSD interruptions due to driving errors, such as not holding the steering wheel or whatever else causes FSD to stop. At the same time we had the steering wheel reset to center, it had a slight offset since new. This cost us $248. An annoying charge, but what do you do?

Since that service and the holiday software update we’ve not experienced any other problems. In fact prior to the appointment I drove the car for more than an hour on divide roads, toll roads and interstate freeway with none of the previous issues occurring.

So, we end the year 2022, having driven 12,631 miles, covering a handful of roadtrips. More than our usual annual driving by a long shot. There are many more local miles logged thanks to our grandson beginning preschool last June and our function as after school care center encompassing that. We spent $1,127 in charging over the year. The split between superchargers and home charging at night were almost an even split. The average costs were $.13 for home and $.39 for supercharging. Total charging power consumed was 4,435kWh. The app estimates we saved $1,845 in fuel costs.

My take on the FSD Beta is that for $10,000 we aren’t getting much at this point. The big driver for our purchase of this option and for that matter the purchase of the Tesla Model Y over other possible electric vehicles was primarily the self parking feature. We have not seen consistent recognition of parking spots so far. In fact that began prior to having FSD Beta installed. And then it only happened at one place, two different times; the Tesla Supercharger in West Glenwood Springs Colorado. That was of course a back-in spot. Since installing FSD Beta we have seen the parallel parking option pop up twice for street parking near our grandson’s pre-school.

FSD Beta is certainly not autonomous driving in any form. The lane centering is still a problem at merge points whether the lane is beginning or ending the car moves to center between the lines which telegraphs to other drivers you are maybe leaving the lane. Or trying to pinch following drivers off from passing on the right. I find it annoying and possibly dangerous. There are still random phantom cruise control breaks or even alarm-sounding braking that happen and are not recorded as such in the history. That suggests to me there is an instability in the software. Also there isn’t anyway FSD will work well enough to be safe without radar of some type. Camera viewing cannot vector objects which is evident when a turning vehicle is ahead and the car alarms because the software says you’re going to hit something that is moving away from you, but the camera can’t tell because the car is turning and therefore appears stationary, but is in fact rotating and moving out of the path. This happens nearly every time we drive up certain roads. The turning car is in fact in the space where cars would park if there wasn’t an intersection so, plenty of room to pass. The car has slowed because it is turning, but is not in any way going to still be there when my car arrives at that point. This is exacerbated when the road has a sharp curve with cars parked along the outside of the curve. The car has randomly set off alarms of collision when the cars are parked, stationary and the path is along them rather than through them.

Anyway, that was our year. Here’s hoping next year improves this software. I suspect that eventually all cars with the FSD option will have to have radar retrofitted or fitted as standard

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