Tesla removes steering wheel nag in FSD v12.4, but with a catch

Tesla has released its latest Full Self-Driving (FSD) software, version 12.4 to employees, and as promised the steering wheel nag has been removed, but not in all scenarios.

The new update was included in software update 2024.9.5, and contains a new ‘Vision-Based Attention Monitoring’ feature which utilizes the in-cabin camera to monitor driver attentiveness, along with an update to how the strike system works.

Vision-Based Attention Monitoring

Earlier this month Elon Musk said the steering wheel nag would be removed in FSD v12.4, and as promised the company has done just that, by introducing a new ‘Vision-Based Attention Monitoring’ system. However, this only reduces the need for the infamous “steering wheel nag,” where drivers are prompted to apply pressure to the steering wheel to confirm their attentiveness, and does not remove it entirely as it will still be required in certain scenarios, and in certain vehicles.

According to the release notes, shared by Not A Tesla App, the cabin camera will now determine if the driver is attentive under specific conditions: the camera must not be blocked, there must be sufficient lighting, and the driver must be looking forward without obstructions like sunglasses or low-brim hats.

If these conditions are met, the system does not use the steering wheel nag. However, if any of the above conditions are not met and the cabin camera cannot confirm driver attentiveness, the traditional torque-based monitoring will still be in effect.

Unfortunately for those older vehicles without a cabin camera, the steering wheel nag will remain and be present in all situations.

Updated Strike System

Tesla has also revamped how its strike system works with this update. Previously, drivers could accumulate up to five strikes (or three for vehicles without a cabin camera) before FSD and Autopilot features were disabled for one week. If you accumulated less than the five strikes required to earn a suspension, the strikes stayed on your record, typically only being cleared twice a year.

Under the new system, one strike is removed for every seven-day period without a new strike. This means that while FSD might still be disabled for one week if strikes accumulate, but drivers can see a gradual reduction in strikes over time, making it more difficult to earn a one-week suspension.

FSD v12.4 is currently only available to employees, but if all goes well with internal testing we should see the first public rollout of v12.54 to owners later this week.

Interestingly, FSD v12.4 is included in 2024.9.5, and not on the spring update branch of 2024.14. This means FSD owners will have to wait a little while longer to receive the big spring update which includes features like new visualizations, a new media player, Audible support, and a preview of Sentry Mode events, and more.

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