It is unclear how many drivers were revoked from the beta software. Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the number of drivers who had lost access to the program.
The beta version of “fully autonomous driving” was released in October last year. Tesla’s use of the term “fully autonomous” has long been controversial, and self-driving car experts have criticized it. For most experts, fully autonomous driving means a vehicle in which a person can sleep safely behind the wheel. There is no need for an attentive human driver.
The news comes after reports that a letter was sent in February from the National Transportation Safety Board to the National Highway Traffic Safety Authority calling for stricter requirements on autonomous driving testing on public roads.
In the letter, NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt stated that Tesla is testing on public roads but with “limited supervision or reporting requirements”.
“Although Tesla includes a disclaimer that currently enabled features require active driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous, NHTSA’s hands-off approach to AV testing supervision poses a potential risk to motorists and other road users,” Sumwalt added.
Earlier this month, Musk tweeted his plans to double the size of Tesla’s beta testing program with version 8.2 and nearly ten times the number of testers with version 8.3.
Later on Friday, he added that the “next important release” of the program would be next month.
“Go with pure vision – not even with radar,” Musk wrote in a tweet. “This is the path to the real world of artificial intelligence.”
Matt McFarland of CNN contributed to this report.