Tesla is delaying its important Full Self-Driving (FSD) v12 software update, which is supposed to an important step in the automaker’s self-driving program, as it needs more work outside California.
For how many years in a row, I lost count, CEO Elon Musk said that Tesla would achieve self-driving by the end of the year.
Shocker, it looks like it won’t happen this year either.
For the last few months, Musk said that Tesla was preparing to launch its FSD v12 update in December, but it now looks like the update has been delayed.
The Tesla v12 software update is expected to introduce what Musk has been calling “end-to-end neural nets”. The biggest difference with previous updates is that the vehicle’s controls would now be handle by neural nets rather than being coded by programmers.
In short, this means that the vehicle’s behaviors would also be powered by AI rather than only the vision system.
The important update was supposed to be pushed to the fleet earlier this month, but Musk was asked about it on X last night and said that it needs extra testing:
It is already on a lot of cars, but, given that is a completely new architecture, we are doing extra testing. It works very well in California, but needs more training for heavy precipitation areas.
It has been a common concern of FSD Beta testers that the system is much better in California than in other regions, especially right now in the winter in places that get snow.
Musk’s comment that Tesla FSD v12 is already “on a lot of cars” is likely a reference to be in Tesla’s internal employee test fleet, which is significant, but the update apparently has made it to customers.
The CEO previously said that v12 would take “FSD out of Beta” though he didn’t explain what he meant by that.
Tesla still requires FSD drivers to keep their hands on the steering wheel and be ready to take control at all times. The automaker doesn’t take responsibility for accidents on Autopilot or FSD.
I doubt anyone is shocked at another self-driving delay from Tesla at this point.
That said, I believe v12 is getting close to launch. I wouldn’t be surprised if it reaches Tesla customers at some point next month, and definitely before the end of the first quarter 2024.
The bigger question is what it means to be getting off beta? Is Tesla finally going to take responsibility for the system? Is it going to apply to be approved as a level 3 or 4 self-driving system?
The automaker has been silent on that front, which has given me little hope about finally delivering on its long-standing promise to deliver a truly self-driving system.
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