Chuck Cook tests Tesla FSD v12.4.1 at his difficult unprotected left turn (video)



It has been almost two weeks since Tesla started rolling out FSD v12.4.1 to a limited number of external beta testers. Most of these testers are experienced Autopilot users and have a prominent presence on YouTube and other social media platforms.

This gives Tesla, its enthusiast community, and the rest of the world a chance to closely observe the improvements or issues with the Full Self-Driving (FSD) system.

Tesla FSD (Supervised) v12.4.1 (2024.15.5) for the most part has received positive feedback from the limited number of external testers. However, testers such as AI DRIVR (YouTube) have reported problems with lane changing in this version.

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Chuck Cook’s Unprotected Left Turn (UPL) on FSD v12.4.1

In Jacksonville, Florida — near Memorial Park, there is an intersection with traffic coming from both sides. Taking a left turn at this intersection is difficult due to the dual flow of traffic.

This specific unprotected left turn (UPL) has been a challenge for the Tesla AI team for a few years now. Tesla officially recognized this UPL as Chuck Cook-style in FSD Beta v10.13 release notes in 2022.

Chuck Cook has been beta testing Tesla FSD for a few years and providing valuable data to train the self-driving artificial intelligence software. Recently, he was at Tesla’s 2024 Annual Shareholder Meeting where he was told that Tesla had identified at least 1,000 such unprotected left turns in the US.

The data Chuck and his difficult UPL are providing Tesla is very valuable. Tesla is also gathering similar data from 1,000 other UPLs to train FSD for such scenarios. Apart from Chuck himself, Tesla employee vehicles are also regularly spotted at this UPL for testing and validation.

Chuck Cook extensively tested FSD v12.4.1 on this UPL as he received the update this week. He demonstrated 9 attempts at this UPL by Tesla Autopilot in his latest video (watch below).

According to Chuck’s experience, FSD (Supervised) v12.4.1 has significantly improved compared to v12.3.6 — which was the last version external testers had received.

In these 9 attempts, Chuck had to intervene and take over the steering wheel about 2 times for safety reasons. I am going to cover attempts that were either difficult due to traffic or where the driver had to intervene.

Attempt #3: the car crept a little too far from the median as the traffic from the right was still coming. This made one car pass too close to his Tesla Model 3 running on Autopilot (FSD v12.4.1).

Attempt #4: Another car was behind the Tesla and as the vehicle started accelerating toward the median, Chuck intervened and took over driving from Autopilot. Chuck did not feel comfortable as the car took the decision to move forward.

Then he manually took the UPL and tried to train the car on how to do it properly by having some space between the median divider and the vehicle and taking the left with vehicles far enough at the right. Interestingly, the vehicle apparently adapted to Chuck’s way of taking this left turn in the next few attempts.

Tesla FSD v12.4.1 (2024.15.5) taking an unprotected left turn (UPL) in Jacksonville, Florida (Chuck Cook's Tesla Model 3).
Tesla FSD v12.4.1 (2024.15.5) taking an unprotected left turn (UPL) in Jacksonville, Florida (Chuck Cook’s Tesla Model 3). The driver disengages Autopilot as the car tries to accelerate at a potentially unsafe moment. A following car behind the Tesla vehicle is visible in the Autopilot visualization. Credit: Chuck Cook / YouTube (full video below).
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Attempt #6: This one was particularly interesting because there was a lead car in front of Chuck’s Tesla. FSD v12.4.1 did not blindly follow the lead car, it decided to move on its own and stopped for another few seconds after the lead car was gone. “12.4.1 is definitely doing better than 12.3.6,” Chuck said at this moment.

Attempt #8: Although from the Stop sign, the Tesla made a wide choice of not moving ahead at the wrong moment, it made a quicker movement from the median to turn left. The vehicle pre-rolled as the last car passed by. According to Chuck, “the latency to on that pre-roll was just right” — but I think the car was too close for the attempt, waiting another half a second would’ve been safer.

Attempt #9: Chuck had to intervene using the brake pedal as the car moved from the Stop sign toward the median. But according to him, previous versions have been more aggressive sometimes and have scared him in the past.

Tesla FSD v12.4.1 (2024.15.5) pre-rolls the car from the median close to the car coming from the right.
Tesla FSD v12.4.1 (2024.15.5) pre-rolls the car from the median close to the car coming from the right. Credit: Chuck Cook / YouTube.
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FSD v12.4.1 has significantly improved at Chuck Cook-style unprotected left turns compared to previous versions. However, it still needs to get better at it, not perfect yet and Tesla is definitely working on that.

Chuck found out in this test that the latency to make decisions by the vehicle has greatly improved. Tesla FSD v12.4.1 makes quicker decisions compared to the previous V12 releases and of course is much better than V11 and older versions.

Tesla is still cautious about making it a wide release. “So much is new in 12.4 that it will take a few more point releases to smooth it out,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk stated in an X post.

We can expect a wide release of FSD V12 as Tesla becomes more and more confident of this version going into the hands of a much larger user base. Although the wide rollout will provide a lot more data but as safety is first and foremost at Tesla — so, existing FSD (Supervised) users need to wait to get the latest version.

Video: Chuck Cook tests the difficult UPL in Jacksonville, FL using Tesla FSD v12.4.1 (2024.15.5).
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Related Autopilot (FSD) News

Iqtidar Ali
Iqtidar Ali
Iqtidar has been writing about Tesla, Elon Musk, and EVs for more than 3 years on, many of his articles have been republished on CleanTechnica and InsideEVs, maintains a healthy relationship with the Tesla community across the Social Media sphere. You can reach him on Twitter @IqtidarAlii


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