centre console of a Tesla
Canadian Tesla owners await the arrival of Musk’s announced delivery of Full Self Driving (FSD) beta software to Market. Image: Tesla, Inc.

Tesla is releasing its Full Self-Driving Beta in Canada, says CEO Elon Musk, marking the first time the software could be expanded to a region outside of the U.S.

Tesla drivers in Canada may not have to wait much longer for Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta software after Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk announced the software’s impending release in Canada.

Musk made the major announcement on Twitter in reply to a user query about the program, saying, “We will start rolling out FSD beta [sic] in Canada cautiously in the next 2 to 4 [sic] weeks.”

If Tesla delivers on Musk’s pledge, it will be the first time the software will be available to customers beyond the United States.

In the U.S., drivers need a 99/100 Safety Score to download the FSD Beta test software. At the moment, it is not known if Canadians will need to complete the Safety Score before being able to use the program when it becomes available in Canada.

Tesla’s Safety Score is based on five criteria and is calculated by an algorithm in the vehicle.

Musk first flagged a Canadian launch in November last year, but mentioned in a separate Twitter comment there were “no guarantees” because the company had to do “quite a lot of incremental testing [and] code tweaks for different road systems in Canada.”

Later in December 2021, Musk wrote again on Twitter that the FSD Beta program would be extended to Canada “very soon.”

FSD’s capabilities

With a Canadian price tag of $10,600 (US$12,000), Tesla owners that meet requirements can elect to purchase the FSD Beta software, which will then be installed in their vehicles over-air.

With Tesla’s FSD Beta features, the vehicle will help drivers autopark, change lanes on the highway, identify stop signs and traffic lights and automatically slow the car to a stop. It is expected to eventually feature auto-steering on city streets.

Tesla cautions on its website that the FSD Beta advanced features do not make a vehicle autonomous and that it will still require active driver supervision with hands on the wheel at all times.

More EVs with driver-assisted features

Tesla is not the only automaker developing with self-driving technologies.

Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 EV, available now in Canada, comes with the automaker’s SmartSense driving assistance system, which provides lane-keeping assistance, automatic emergency braking, parking assistance and features adaptive cruise control.

Similarly, Volkswagen ID.4 has its IQ.Drive technology that features adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability, forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, and lane-keeping assistance. While Nissan’s 2022 Leaf will have a suite of similar capabilities under its ProPilot Assist driving program.

Both General Motors’ Super Cruise function and Ford’s BlueCruise include several self-driving features and technology that allows drivers to go completely hands-free. Currently, hands-free driving is only available on designated geofenced roads and highways — some of which are located in Southern Ontario.

In strategic shift, Gatik partners with Ryder Systems to launch an autonomous North American fleet network