Tesla has commenced the roll-out of its brand new update with regards to its Full Self-Driving Beta program and the company’s CEO Elon Musk says it has the capability to cut driver intervention by a third.
Tesla, only a fortnight ago had started pushing the initial (beta) version of its “Full Self-Driving” feature to a select few users. It was previously reported from various sources that, Tesla has already been collecting a large amount of data from its test fleet and now it is using it to improve on the system. This is the company’s usual modus-operandi before it makes the update available on a large scale.
Tesla Releases New Full Self-Driving Beta Update Which Could Slash Interventions ~1/3, Says Elon Musk
Yesterday, Tesla started pushing a new 2020.40.8.12 software update to owners with the early access FSD beta and they have been reporting a smoother experience with the driving capability of the AI. It seems as though the minor glitches that were reported by the users during the past two weeks have been fixed by the company. Along with this Mr. Musk tweeted that the update could reduce driver interventions by as much as 33%.
We measure this primarily in intervention probability. This update addressed several issues, resulting in perhaps ~1/3 fewer interventions. Many of the improvements consist of fixing silly bugs vs grand eureka moments. True for most beta releases in my experience.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 31, 2020
But as with all “fully self-driving technology”, it actually requires that a driver keeps their hands on their steering wheel and be ready to take control as there can be multiple real-world scenarios the AI still hasn’t figured out completely. Tesla’s AI can learn from those interventions to help its neural nets improve in future updates.
Although, it must be noted that this isn’t the final version of this update as Musk says that the automaker plans to push new updates every 5 to 10 days leading to the wider release of the Full Self-Driving beta in the US later this year. That being said, Tesla’s chief warns that errors will never reach zero, but the automaker’s hope is that they will become low enough to be safer than humans and therefore, they will be able to remove the driver oversight restriction:
“Faults will never be zero, but at some point the probability of a fault will be far lower than that of the average human.”
Musk has previously said Tesla could reach this goal by the end of 2020, but it still looks like that goal was a bit far-fetched with the FSD Beta only slated for a wider release in December and that version is still expected to rely heavily on driver attention.
The New UI
Along with the roll-out of this new FSD technology, it appears that this update includes a new UI that is optimized for the operation of the FSD suite. This is evident in the UI’s larger space for FSD’s driving visualizations, as well as its smoother, vector renders for driving paths, objects, and streets.
Sneak peeks of Tesla’s new UI were shared by limited FSD beta user Tesla Raj, who seemed to be one of the few lucky Model 3 owners who received the update. As noted by this user, it was pretty evident that a larger space has been allotted for visualizations. This is especially eye-catching when the vehicle is in Park, as the car’s avatar on the display has now gotten considerably larger and more detailed. The animation that is displayed when the vehicle’s doors, trunk, and frunk are opened has become much smoother.
But Tesla has made sure the new visualizations do not alter the layout of the center display, so as to avoid any confusion for the owners. With a larger space allotted for driving visualizations, the area for the map has been reduced. The Tesla “T” logo at the top of the display has also been removed. Whether this would be popular among Tesla owners is up for question, though it is evident that the change was made with regards to the growing functionalities of the Full Self-Driving suite. All these changes have been explained in the Release Notes for 2020.40.8.12.
— Tesla Raj 🕺🏽 (@tesla_raj) October 31, 2020
Driving Visualization Improvements
The driving visualization has been improved to better support Full Self-Driving capabilities by increasing the display size to show additional surrounding information. The next turn will now appear above the visualization if the navigation turn list is covered by another app.
With the larger visualization, a couple of items have slightly moved but will continue to look and behave the same. Some notable differences include the following:
- Quick access to the backup camera and wipers has moved to the bottom bar.
- Autopilot set speed is now displayed directly below the speedometer and can continue to be adjusted using the right steering wheel scroll wheel. The speed will turn blue when Autopilot is engaged.