Tesla released a brand new version of its Full Self-Driving (FSD) beta software last month that relies entirely on the vehicle’s cameras instead of radar to drive itself on public roads.
Known as V9 (and subsequently V9.2), the pure-vision FSD software also came with new visualizations that showed how the car understand its and predicts its surroundings.
This level of prediction was showcased in Tesla’s AI Day last week where Senior Director of AI Andrej Karpathy showed how the streets were mapped as the car approached and drove through them.
Here's how Autopilot predicts the road layout around the car.
In the future I bet Tesla will build a "Tesla Maps" service with near real-time information on traffic, lane closures, construction, crashes, emergencies, and other relevant events. @elonmusk pic.twitter.com/X6GRtz0HKD
— Whole Mars Catalog (@WholeMarsBlog) August 22, 2021
It appears as though the pure-vision approach to the self-driving software is also very good at predicting a car’s speed and trajectory. Zeb Hallock, an FSD Beta tester on the U.S. east coast noticed the new behaviour with the release of V9 last month.
A few examples shared by Hallock show how when a car crosses in front of him, but has enough speed to make it through the intersection, the car does not react or slow at all. This is not because the Tesla doesn’t see the car – it does appear on the visualization.
Hallock noted this is a different behaviour than before when the car would “panic and slow down when it didn’t really need to.”
Another example showed how the Tesla does react when it needs to when a car crosses over into its lane to pass a US Postal truck parked on the side of the road.
Wanting to test his theory further, Hallock had a friend cross his path in a closed parking lot to see how the Tesla would react. In most instances, it worked perfectly and as Hallock noted, reacted in the same way a human would.
In those instances when it didn’t work, the car disengaged and prompted the driver to take over, but still came to a safe and complete stop.
You can watch the full video below, including a bonus reel at the end for fans of Tesla’s auto wipers.