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Elon Musk Explains the Latest Improvements to Tesla's Full Self-Driving Software – autoevolution

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Photo: @edgecase411 via X

After announcing that the latest version of Tesla Full Self-Driving “will blow your mind,” Elon Musk offered a rare update on the development timeline. Musk says that V12.4 has retrained the models for better comfort, while the following builds, already in testing, will focus on edge cases.

Tesla Full Self-Driving, now marketed as “Supervised” instead of beta software, is making swift progress, with new point releases following in quick succession. After V12.3, Tesla’s automated driving system became competent enough to blow Elon Musk’s mind again, as other builds before. However, things are different now because Tesla’s CEO put FSD at the center of Tesla’s strategy, betting everything on autonomous driving.

A month ago, Tesla offered a free 30-day FSD trial to all compatible cars, a fleet estimated at 1.8 million vehicles. Tesla owners who bought their EVs as far back as 2016 are now rocking the latest FSD builds, something they dreamed of but were skeptical it was possible. This vastly expanded the FSD testing pool, with the Tesla fleet adding 1 billion FSD miles every 2-3 months instead of one billion miles every three years.

Until recently, Tesla would’ve had difficulties processing this insane amount of data. However, Musk clarified that Tesla is no longer compute-constrained. This explains the faster development pace, which will only accelerate in the coming month. As announced during the first-quarter earnings call, Tesla plans to invest significantly in data centers, increasing the company’s compute capacity six-fold by the end of the year.

Based on feedback from people who tested the FSD V12.3, progress with the latest builds is indeed “mind-blowing,” as Elon Musk loves repeating. However, it’s the next iteration, V12.4, people are the most excited about. As Musk revealed in a rare update on X, the build will probably start rolling out to customers in about a week, at which time, of course, everybody will have their minds blown.

Musk explained that Tesla has almost completely retrained models to improve comfort. More specifically, Tesla’s CEO admitted that FSD sometimes accelerates or brakes too fast for many people’s taste. This is an important step to iron out because if people feel unsafe, they are less likely to use the software. Another important change is scrapping the steering wheel nags and relying solely on the cabin camera for driver monitoring.

Musk also offered a glimpse at future FSD builds, namely V12.5 and V12.6. These are already in various stages of testing, focusing on edge cases. Musk gave the example of such a case when a Tesla on FSD drives on a narrow, one-way road and encounters a road closure. The desired action would be to reverse and find a new route.

However, Musk said the upcoming builds would also communicate the closure to the rest of the fleet. This should prevent awkward situations when “a bunch of Teslas” get stuck in the same spot. People are familiar with such cases from when Cruise was operating in San Francisco.