Tesla (TSLA) has rolled out the latest version 12.1 of its Full Self-Driving Beta (FSD Beta) software to internal employees for testing.
Although Elon Musk mentioned multiple times that version 12 will not be Beta, the automaker is again using the Beta terminology with the new releases of FSD v12. The firmware version of the FSD v12.1 is 2023.44.30.10.
A screenshot of the FSD version 12.1 was leaked by an unknown internal tester via TeslaScope last week. This screenshot revealed that this version was actually a Beta release.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed yesterday that FSD Beta v12 is continuously getting tested on Tesla-owned vehicles by employees. “It is already on a lot of cars,” Musk said in an X (Twitter) post yesterday.
More interestingly, Elon Musk said that FSD 12 is a completely new architecture. Therefore, it needs more extensive testing. “It works very well in California, but needs more training for heavy precipitation areas,” he added.
This means Tesla needs to test the new FSD Beta v12 and its subversion updates in tropical, subtropical, and humid regions like the state of Florida before it can be released to non-employee beta testers.
Tesla Autopilot Vision relies on live video feed from the vehicle’s external cameras to navigate. Especially on vehicles that have been produced without ultrasonic sensors since last year. Before ultrasonics (USS). Tesla had already removed radar from its vehicles. But with the launch of the latest Autopilot Hardware version 4 (HW4), Tesla has reverted its decision and installed an HD radar.
Since Tesla is expanding its FSD V12 internal testing and has reverted the software to Beta, the chances of it getting rolled out to non-employee testers are slim for at least Q1 2024.
Tesla might have reversed its decision to remove Beta from FSD V12 releases because of the recent safety probe by the NHTSA and the recall of 2 million Tesla vehicles.
Tesla FSD Beta v12.1 (2023.44.30.10) Release Notes
As we can read the leaked screenshot of the FSD Beta V12.1 above, gives us some useful information about this over-the-air (OTA) software update. The complete release notes for this release are not available as it’s not a public release as of now.
The Release Notes state:
FSD Beta v12 upgrades the city-streets driving stack to a single end-to-end neural network trained on millions of video clips, replacing over 300k lines of explicit C++ code.
This also explains why Elon Musk said it’s a completely new architecture. Explicit human-written programming code does not dictate Autopilot decisions in FSD v12 onwards. The decision-making process relies on neural-nets which are trained using real-world video data and driving behavior of humans across the entire global Tesla vehicle fleet.
Elon Musk demonstrated an FSD 12 drive in August and live-streamed it on X (Twitter). During this demo drive, Musk said that this version does not have a single line of code.
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