The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) sent an email to Tesla requesting access to Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta on one of the vehicles it owns.
The message dated January 27, 2022 only recently surfaced on social media and was shared on Twitter on August 16 by Whole Mars Catalog.
In the document, the NHTSA reminded the EV maker that it owns a Tesla with the FSD option, but it hadn’t received the OTA update that enables FSD in the vehicle. Like many regular Tesla owners, the agency said that it did its best to get a good safety score, but even so, it failed to get access to FSD Beta.
“As you know, NHTSA owns a Tesla vehicle with the FSD option,” the letter opens, followed by detailed information including the car’s VIN and firmware version it was running at the time.
“With over 700 miles of driving this year and a Safety Score of 99 (including a score of 100 for the most recent 107 miles on Jan 21), we have not received the OTA update to fully enable FSD in our vehicle.
We request some of your time and expertise to assess our situation and help us understand what additional steps we need to take.”
The screenshot of the email the NHTSA sent Tesla was accompanied by Whole Mars Catalog‘s comment “Even NHTSA is sick of safety score,” to which Elon Musk replied with a laughing emoji and “ok we’ll turn it on.”
Given Musk’s answer, it’s reasonable to assume that, to this day, Tesla did not push the OTA update that enables FSD to NHTSA’s car, even though almost eight months passed since the official request. We don’t know whether NHTSA got any assistance from Tesla on this issue, but judging by Musk’s reply, it sounds like it did not.
When and if the agency gets access to Full Self-Driving Beta, it will be able to experience the software firsthand and perform testing of its own. This will be a good thing as NHTSA is committed to improving safety on US roads and its suggestions should help Tesla make its Full Self-Driving Beta software better.