Tesla started rolling out the promised FSD Beta version 10.8 during the Christmas holidays last week. This update got a little late due to the major V11 Holiday Update, merging of the Waypoints navigation maps update, and internal testing.
Since the car owners enrolled in the Tesla Early Access Program (EAP) now have spent a bit of time with the FSD Beta 10.8 during the holidays, we can witness a good amount of testing videos, a few of which we will include below.
For most of the users, Tesla completely skipped the 10.7 update after the release of FSD Beta version 10.6. According to Elon Musk, the Tesla team was close to completing the 10.8 software update, Tesla directly jumped to this version.
With every minor update version release, Tesla now provides an outline of the improvements it has made over the previous version. The following FSD Beta 10.8 release notes give us the details of the progress Tesla has made with this version.
FSD Beta 10.8 Release Notes (2021.44.25.6)
- Improved object attributes network to reduce false cut-in slowdowns by 50% and lane assignment error by 19%.
- Improved photon-to-control vehicle response latency by 20% on average.
- Expanded use of regenerative braking in Autopilot down to 0mph for smoother stops and improved energy efficiency.
- Improved VRU (pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcycles, animals) lateral velocity error by 4.9% by adding more auto-labeled and simulated training examples to the dataset.
- Reduced false slowdowns for crossing objects by improved velocity estimates for objects at the end of visibility.
- Reduced false slowdowns by adding geometric checks to cross-validate lane assignment of objects.
- Improved speed profile for unprotected left turns when visibility is low.
- Added more natural behavior to bias over bike lanes during right turns.
- Improved comfort when yielding to jaywalkers by better modelling of stopping region with soft and hard deadlines.
- Improved smoothness for merge control with better modelling of merge point and ghost objects positioned at the edge of visibility.
- Improved overall comfort by enforcing stricter lateral jerk bounds in trajectory optimizer
- Improved short deadline lane changes through richer trajectory modeling
- Improved integration between lead vehicle overtake and lane change gap selection
- Updated trajectory line visualization
Phantom Braking Improvements
In the above V10.8 release notes, wherever Teslas has mentioned “false slowdowns,” the automaker is referring to a phenomenon known as “Phantom Braking” in the Tesla community.
Phantom braking happens when Tesla Autopilot sees an object as a threat and starts to suddenly slow down the vehicle. These objects can be large oncoming trucks, vehicles, and even bridges with large shadows on the road. In these instances, a Tesla vehicle does not come to a complete stop but the speed is reduced by 5 to 12 mph.
Phantom braking has plagued Autopilot users for a long time. In this update, Tesla seems to have focused on this issue specifically. Reducing 50% for cut-in phantom braking seems to be a big improvement in this specific scenario.
FSD Visualization Improvements
Tesla has brought two new enhancements in the FSD Beta 10.8 update:
- Full screen driving visualizations
- Vehicle’s trajectory line visualization changes
FSD Beta test drivers with the 10.8 update can now expand the Autopilot driving visualization to full-screen mode to view how the car is sensing objects around it more easily. Plus, the full-screen mode looks cool too.
With this latest update, Tesla has started using a solid visual trajectory line instead of a dotted one. The new trajectory line visualization also has two versions:
- A gray color line is displayed when the car is in traffic aware cruise-control (TACC) mode
- The trajectory line turns blue as soon as Autopilot / FSD is activated (using double tap on the right stalk on Model 3/Y)
With the V11 (2021.44.25) Holiday Update, Tesla introduced the Blind Spot Camera feature. The Autopilot visualizations in the FSD Beta 10.8 version automatically displays the left or right side camera video feed depending on which turn signal is activated.
The overall initial test results of FSD Beta 10.8 have impressed the test drivers. But to measure the improvements in phantom braking, there will be more extensive testing needed in the coming weeks and months as these events are random and come at unexpected times.
Tesla has improved the “speed profile” when the cars take unprotected left turns (refer to release notes above). But we saw in the above video test that the Tesla Model S got a little confused between decision making, the driver had to accelerate the vehicle to complete the unprotected left turn.
Some investors and members from the Tesla Community on social media think that Tesla will achieve Level 4 autonomy with its Full Self-Driving (FSD) software in 2022.
Looks like It will be an even more interesting year to follow Tesla, so stay tuned and let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.