Tesla FSD Version 12 — Not As Good As Hoped & Planned?

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Tesla Full Self Driving (FSD) Version 12 has started rolling out to customers. There are, naturally, some owners raving about its improvements on social media. The update uses an end-to-end neural network to try to improve the self-driving/driver-assist tech in certain areas of driving and certain scenarios. I have two notes to make on this.

My first note is that I’ve seen a ton of hype online about probably every single version of FSD, and then I have routinely been disappointed with the level of the software when I have gotten to testing it on my own Tesla Model 3. So, before I explore it, I take any claims of great advancements with a grain of salt now. I recommend that everyone else do the same, since I’ve seen many other Tesla owners and fans similarly disappointed after soaking up too much hype from Twitter/X and YouTube.

Secondly, someone else noticed a rather notable point: Elon Musk said in mid-2023 that FSD V12 would no longer be “beta” technology. It turns out, however, that it is. FSD still has the “beta” label in V12. Take that for what it’s worth, but I think it’s another example of overhype and over-optimism about how well and how fast Tesla’s AI firmware for self-driving capability is going to come along. Maybe it’s a small thing, but on top of everything else, it’s another sucker punch. Also, frankly, if Elon said prominently it was not going to be “beta” any longer and it is still “beta,” I don’t see how that doesn’t imply that V12 is not as good as initially hoped and planned.

Did replacing C++ code with neural networks make a big difference? Even if it didn’t yet, will it make all the difference in the future? That’s a matter of theory and debate for now. We’ll see what the future brings.

Oh, and there’s one more note. One of the new features with V12 FSD is that the car will pull over to the side of the road by itself at the end of the drive. I don’t see how that’s a bragging point or something to get excited about at this point. There is no good reason why that shouldn’t have been an expected feature from the beginning. How hard is it to pull over to the side of the road compared to driving around the city autonomously? Why wasn’t this a thing before? Was it really something difficult for Tesla to implement, or did something simply bring it up as an issue finally and lead to it being incorporated? I don’t know, but it doesn’t seem like a great highlight or achievement. I’d rather see the car able to confidently and smoothly park itself at the end of a drive. That seems like something that should have been included years ago, yet Tesla still isn’t able to deliver on that. Maybe in V13?

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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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