Tesla’s Full Self-Driving feature, which is still in beta testing, has been released to qualifying drivers and updated to version 10.12.1. The new software appears to be less dangerous but the combination of hesitancy and confusion is still quite annoying for other drivers that have to share the road with what appears to be a nervous student learning to drive.
Tesla’s FSD is a greatly enhanced form of Autopilot that became available to select Tesla owners in October of 2020. This system allows the vehicle to drive itself on city roads, just as Autopilot manages driving on highways. Of course, street-level driving has many more challenges with pedestrians, pets, bikes, a wide variety of road markings, signs, and signals, along with more complicated rules about when to stop and go. Several thousand cars now have this FSD software and share the public roads with human drivers.
SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
Related: Elon Musk Explains How To Stop A Tesla On Autopilot Or FSD From The Outside
A recent video from Dirty Tesla, a YouTube channel dedicated to covering changes in Tesla’s FSD beta, reveals that the latest version, beta 10.12.1, is showing great improvements in terms of safety. That’s great news, however, it’s still annoyingly hesitant in mildly busy city traffic. The video starts with the driver praising the increased confidence of the Tesla FSD system, deciding to give it a bigger challenge after going easy on it for the last several videos. After choosing a downtown destination, the car performs well en route but begins to make errors as more pedestrians, cars, and construction pose difficulties.
Tesla FSD Is A Nervous Driver
After about 10 minutes of near perfection, the drive quickly devolves into several interventions and disengagements. Often, the responsible human that overrides Tesla’s automated system seems to feel pressured and embarrassed at annoying other drivers, and some honks are heard during the drive. Nothing dangerous happens and it seems like the latest version of Tesla’s FSD beta software is generally reliable in that it slows down or even stops when it is unsure what to do.
At one point, a road closure for construction flummoxes FSD beta 10.12.1 and the Tesla stops in the middle of the intersection, signaling that it wants to turn left and travel in the wrong direction on a one-way street but is conflicted enough in that decision that it just sits there until the human takes over. For all of the progress that has been made, the video is an unfortunate demonstration of how far is left to go before Tesla’s self-driving system is ready for the general public and how distant autonomous driving really is.