Tesla has started releasing their latest version of Full Self-Driving (FSD) to employees, known simply as v12. This release is expected to drop the beta moniker that has been with the software since it first launched in 2020, and represents a major step in the progress towards Tesla achieving actual full self-driving.
Until now Tesla’s FSD software has been powered by hundreds of thousands of lines of code. This code tells the car what to do, like slowing down for a pedestrian or proceeding through an intersection when the light turns green. But with the release of v12, that is all going to change, and instead of its behaviours being hard-coded, they will instead be run by neural nets in what CEO Elon Musk calls “end-to-end AI.”
Currently, FSD Beta employs a form of limited AI, relying on neural networks to comprehend its surroundings. The non-AI component comes into play when processing this information to make decisions about the vehicle’s actions, such as deceleration, acceleration, or navigating a turn. With FSD v12 AI will control both aspects, utilizing what the cameras see to determine appropriate actions the vehicle must take.
Musk has been teasing v12 since earlier this year, and now it looks like it might finally be released soon. On Friday the software started being released to employees, according to a report by Not A Tesla App. The report was later confirmed by Musk on X, adding that it “feels human.”
There is a chance this expanded level of testing will reveal bugs that could delay its public release, but this puts it on the path to meeting Musk’s most recent goal of achieving full autonomy before the end of 2023. If testing goes well and no significant bugs are found, there is a good chance it could be included the Holiday Update, which is typically released a few days before Christmas. However based on recent experience, it would not be surprising to see it pushed into early 2024.