Tesla Full Self-Driving V12 To Exit Beta, Says Elon Musk
Tesla has been developing its Full Self-Driving (FSD) beta for years now, primarily by collecting data from its many testers to train an artificially intelligent neural network. In a recent statement, CEO Elon Musk suggested that Tesla’s next FSD build may no longer be considered a beta, which may or may not have big implications for the technology.
Above: A Tesla Model 3 front interior and driver's seat (Image: Casey Murphy / EVANNEX).
Musk said on Twitter last week that Tesla’s FSD version 12 “won’t be beta,” responding to a Whole Mars Catalog comment reiterating his comments that FSD beta v12 would be coming “maybe later this year” (via electrek). The news comes just months before the official FSD beta’s three-year anniversary in October, and at best, it could mean an upgrade to the level of autonomy the system currently operates at.
Version 12 won’t be beta— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 27, 2023
At this time, Tesla’s FSD beta v11.4 (and many of the system’s past beta updates) operates at a Level 2 of automation. This means, despite the terminology “Full Self-Driving,” that drivers must remain cautious, attentive and ready to take control back from the car at any moment. Musk has said for years that FSD would reach full autonomy "soon," considered a Level 5 of automation. However, some critics doubt his optimism in achieving the tech anytime soon.
Perhaps fittingly, Whole Mars Catalog responded back to the tweet, asking if Musk thinks FSD v12 will launch this year or in 2024. Musk did not respond to the follow-up question.
It’s still not clear what Tesla’s timeline or path to higher levels of automation are, but the feature has been referred to as someday being “capable of driving at a level safer than humans,” and Musk has touted the future potential to “go to sleep” while being driven from one destination to the next. Promises of a fleet of self-driving "robotaxis" have also been a common part of the narrative.
Although significant challenges remain for the future of FSD and the path to full autonomy, Musk has boasted the potential for a future of software-like profit levels from the service. During Tesla’s annual shareholder’s meeting earlier this year, Musk also said that a fully autonomous FSD could someday lead to significant revenue, even if the automaker’s cars were sold at little or no profit.
To be sure, FSD leaving beta may or may not be a significant leap for the technology. It’s not clear if v12 will be a marked improvement from its earlier versions, though many are still awaiting promises of robotaxi fleets and Level 5 autonomy. Still, Tesla has said from the beginning that all of its cars from 2016 on will someday be capable of self-driving, and this may technically be true — even if it takes time, many updates, and even though the system still has a ways to go before becoming safer than human driving.
Above: 38 Minutes of Driving with Zero Human Input on Tesla Full Self-Driving Beta 11.4.4 (Video: Whole Mars Catalog / YouTube).
===Sources: electrek / Twitter / Whole Mars Catalog (via YouTube)