At Tesla’s AI Day 2 in September CEO Elon Musk said he was hoping to release Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta in areas outside of North America before the end of 2022. That timeline was of course heavily dependent on convincing regulators that the system was safe enough to deploy to owners.
While they have yet to receive approval from regulators, it looks like Tesla is getting closer to that goal as the automaker has started testing FSD Beta with its employees in Europe.
The launch of FSD Beta in Europe was confirmed by third-party software tracker Teslascope, who was able to obtain information and images from an employee showing FSD Beta operating on a right-hand drive (RHD) vehicle in the United Kingdom (UK) for the first time.
Introducing: the first appearance of Tesla's Full Self-Driving (Beta) in the United Kingdom, running on an internal build of single-stack.
For over a year now, Tesla has been testing their upcoming suite of autonomy features with the help of dozens of primarily secret employees. pic.twitter.com/vNDzrCgfh4
— Teslascope (@teslascope) December 19, 2022
According to Teslascope, this testing program has been going on for over a year with “dozens of primarily secret employees.” The program was so secretive that even the employees that were part of it were not allowed to talk about their experiences with others in the program, or even their managers.
Teslascope added that as of their most recent update the employees were testing the latest single stack version of FSD Beta, version 11, which merges and uses the same neural nets for both city streets and highway driving.
The testing reportedly takes place primarily on their own test tracks and parking lots, but also on public roads and highways (motorways) near their facilities.
Perhaps most importantly the source also confirmed that there has yet to be a single accident or incident through the more than one year of testing.
Even though employees are now testing FSD Beta in Europe, there is no clear timeline for when the system will be available for customers in the region. As mentioned previously, Tesla has not obtained approval from regulators to offer or sell FSD Beta to customers, but does not need this approval to test the software with its employees. However given that Tesla is now testing FSD Beta in Europe, and has been for over one year, we should hopefully see the program expand to customers some time in 2023.
Based on job postings published by Tesla over the last few months in which they are looking for ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) operators, they could also be testing FSD Beta in Norway and Berlin.