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Tesla pauses rollout of Full Self-Driving beta software

Tesla paused the rollout of its Full Self-Driving beta software in the United States and Canada following a recall of the system that federal safety regulators warned could allow vehicles to act unsafe around intersections and cause crashes.

Tesla said in a new company support page that new or pending installations of FSD beta software — an advanced driver assistance system that costs $15,000 — will be halted until it issues an over-the-air software update that corrects the issue. The software update is free.

"Until the software version containing the fix is available, we have paused the rollout of FSD Beta to all who have opted-in but have not yet received a software version containing FSD Beta," the company wrote on the support page.

Earlier this month, Tesla said it was recalling certain 2016–2023 Model S and Model X vehicles; 2017–2023 Model 3 vehicles; and 2020–2023 Model Y vehicles equipped with Full Self-Driving Beta (FSD Beta) software or those pending installation. The recall, which was posted on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website, affects as many as 362,758 vehicles equipped with the software, according to the notice.

This recall affects only U.S. and Canada vehicles. Affected vehicles were identified based on vehicle manufacturing, configuration, and software records.

Tesla vehicles come standard with a driver-assistance system branded as Autopilot. For an additional $15,000, owners can buy “full self-driving,” or FSD — a feature that CEO Elon Musk has promised for years will one day deliver full autonomous driving capabilities. Tesla vehicles are not self-driving.

Instead, FSD includes a number of automated driving features that still require the driver to be ready to take control at all times. It includes the parking feature Summon, as well as Navigate on Autopilot, an active guidance system that navigates a car from a highway on-ramp to off-ramp, including interchanges and making lane changes. The system is also supposed to handle steering on city streets and recognize and react to traffic lights and stop signs.

Notably, the company support page acknowledges that the system in certain rare circumstances could potentially infringe upon local traffic laws or customs while executing these driving maneuvers in specific conditions before the driver may intervene.

Tesla also describes FSD as a Level 2 system on the support page, a designation that while obvious may come as a disappointment to shareholders and owners who support Musk's belief that the vehicles will be "self driving."

There are five levels of automation under standards created by SAE International. Level 2 means two primary functions — like adaptive cruise and lane keeping — are automated and still have a human driver in the loop at all times.