Tesla’s infamous Full Self-Driving Beta v11 update was supposed to be here in November of last year, but it has been delayed many times.
CEO Elon Musk now says it’s coming this week – if you believe him.
Tesla FSD Beta v11 is both an exciting and scary step as it is supposed to merge Tesla’s FSD and Autopilot highway stacks.
FSD Beta enables Tesla vehicles to drive autonomously to a destination entered in the car’s navigation system, but the driver needs to remain vigilant and ready to take control at all times.
Since the responsibility rests with the driver and not Tesla’s system, it is still considered a level-two driver-assist system, despite its name. It has been sort of a “two steps forward, one step back” type of program, as some updates have seen regressions in terms of the driving capabilities.
Tesla has frequently been releasing new software updates to the FSD Beta program and adding more owners to it.
Since the wider release of the beta last year, there are currently over 400,000 Tesla owners in the program in North America – virtually every Tesla owner who bought the FSD package on their vehicles.
However, the bulk of these owners have yet to receive significant FSD beta updates as Tesla was supposed to release v11 to the fleet in November 2022, but the update has been stuck in testing within Tesla’s closed fleet since then.
This weekend, Musk commented on the release of v11 and said that it might start to ship at the end of the week:
V11 has been tougher than expected, as it is a significant rearchitecture of NNs, plus many more NNs replacing C++. Hoping to ship v11.3 end of week.
But the CEO has said that about other versions of the update over the last three months.
The update is an important step because it includes many new neural networks, as Musk stated, but from a consumer perspective, it’s also important because it is expected to merge Tesla’s FSD Beta software stack primarily used on roads and city streets with Tesla’s Autopilot software stack, which is used as a level 2 driver assist system on highways.
This is a scary step for many Tesla FSD Beta users who aren’t satisfied with the level of usefulness in the system, which requires a significant level of oversight and often needs to be corrected, while Tesla’s Autopilot on highways is more appreciated by the average Tesla driver.
Some are afraid that the merging of the stacks could potentially negatively affect their Autopilot experience on highways
Hopefully, all of these delays about releasing v11 to the fleet over those last three months were about making sure that this fear doesn’t become reality.
At least that’s my hope.
But in the meantime, it’s resulting in a stale FSD Beta program with no significant update in a long time, which is also a problem because it makes Tesla’s road to a true level 4 self-driving system harder to imagine.
At this point, v11 really needs to be something special otherwise I think more people are going to be disillusioned by Tesla FSD beta and its potential to deliver on Tesla’s ambitious “full self-driving” promises.
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