Tesla’s Full Self Driving (FSD) Beta V11.4.4 — Is It Higher?

My Tesla Autopilot & FSD Beta Background

3 years and eight months in the past, I bought my Tesla Mannequin 3 Lengthy Vary and paid $6,000 further for Full Self Driving. If you wish to add FSD to your present automotive or a brand new buy, it should now value you $15,000 for a similar software program suite. It’s also possible to hire the software program for $199/month. With a referral*, your new Tesla will include three months of FSD.

At first, FSD solely gave me computerized driving on limited-access (no-cross streets) highways. My automotive would navigate from one Interstate freeway to a different following the navigation route that I entered and go management again to me on the off-ramp. It’s additionally purported to go slower shifting vehicles. Though, that characteristic doesn’t all the time work accurately. I’ve pushed my Mannequin 3 now for over 100,000 miles. Throughout this era, Tesla has let me obtain over 15 software program updates. Generally the updates had been so important it was virtually like getting a brand new automotive. The biggie a few yr in the past was getting FSD Beta, which added navigation on non-limited-access roads and metropolis streets. It additionally added Autosteer on unmarked roads (no yellow middle traces).

Since I first bought FSD Beta, it has gone by way of 11 updates. The most recent gave me FSD Beta V11.4.4.

New wider blue pathway line indicating FSD Beta (V11) display screen. April 17, 2023. Photograph by Fritz Hasler.

FSD Beta Abstract

Elon Musk has bragged that Tesla FSD would quickly be ok that Tesla homeowners may hire out their vehicles as autonomous taxis. Tesla was briefly one of the vital beneficial firms on the earth partly due to hypothesis on the longer term worth of Tesla FSD software program. Tesla has the benefit of gathering real-life knowledge from 400,000+ of us paying “software program testers,” and it’s utilizing that knowledge to coach future variations of the software program on one of many largest supercomputers on the earth. Such a deal for Tesla! Often, an organization must pay their workers to check their software program, not get their clients to pay them for the privilege. Whereas these of us who’ve been utilizing FSD Beta for the final yr or extra have seen important enhancements, many people (maybe most of us) don’t consider that FSD is any nearer to complete autonomy than it was a yr in the past. It nonetheless fails in high-traffic conditions, fails to get within the right lane typically at intersections, and is topic to phantom braking and swerving. Musk has lately stated that FSD V12 will not be in beta. Nevertheless, he didn’t give a promised launch date. These of us who’ve paid for it could like to be stunned.

What’s Good about FSD Beta V11.4.4?

My spouse and I are spending the summer season in Northern Wisconsin, so most of my testing of V11.4.4 is on low-traffic streets and highways. It’s nice enjoyable to enter an handle into the navigation and have my automotive drive there completely routinely if there isn’t a site visitors or mild site visitors. The Autosteer is fabulous — it retains my automotive within the middle of the site visitors lane higher than I can myself. It slows down routinely for sharp turns and even navigates the “15 mph” turns and rotaries the place common Autosteer would fail. V11.4.4 Autosteer additionally works completely on unmarked roads! (No yellow middle traces or white aspect traces wanted.) That is an enchancment over earlier variations of FSD Beta, the place the automotive would wander typically on the unmarked roads. V11.4.4 additionally handles oncoming site visitors on a slender unmarked street or avenue completely. It splits the distinction between the oncoming site visitors and the sting of the street so properly that I don’t really feel the need to intervene.

V11.4.4 lastly responds correctly to building barrels. Earlier software program variations wouldn’t do that. The automotive will transfer correctly to the left in response to the development barrels when the right-hand lane is closed. In earlier variations, I might all the time hen out earlier than my automotive would reply to the development barrels. V11.4.4 additionally does a terrific job of avoiding parked vehicles, bicycle riders, pedestrians, and the rest extending out into your site visitors lane.

Observe: Tesla will not be kidding in regards to the present “Beta” designation. When utilizing FSD Beta V11.4.4, one needs to be able to intervene instantaneously, normally in conditions the place busier site visitors makes it crucial.

Cease Signal Habits

V11.4.4 virtually all the time stops accurately proper at a cease signal. Nevertheless, it should sometimes cease me 20 ft or so in entrance of the cease signal. If the visibility of the cross avenue is sweet and there’s no cross-traffic, it should flip or go ahead and speed up briskly after ~3 seconds. If it stops ~20 ft in entrance of the cease signal or the cross avenue visibility is poor, it should creep ahead and speed up briskly after 5 seconds or slightly longer. Often, with no cross site visitors and nobody behind me, I let the automotive proceed routinely. Nevertheless, if there’s a automotive behind me, this habits remains to be slightly too timid, so when there isn’t a cross site visitors or I see that I’ve sufficient time to make the merge, I’ll press on the accelerator. The automotive will nonetheless make the automated flip completely.

If there may be fairly a little bit of cross site visitors, it’s actually laborious to let V11.4.4 do the merge all by itself. Generally I disengage the software program and do the merge manually. Different occasions, I’ll add some acceleration to verify I merge accurately forward of a fast paced automotive coming from a ways.

Passing Slower Autos on 4-Lane Highways

V11.4.4 is meant to match speeds arising behind a slower shifting automobile if wanted, sign, transfer into the passing lane, go the automobile, and return to the right-hand lane. I’ve seen it stay caught behind the slower shifting automobile in some instances. In others, it should go the automobile however not return to the right-hand lane even when specified within the controls.

Phantom Braking & Swerving

Phantom braking has been a problem with FSD Beta for a very long time. I nonetheless observe occasional phantom braking, and I’ve seen frequent phantom swerving once more lately after not experiencing it for some time. V11.4.4 will trigger my automotive to swerve left aggressively into the oncoming lane or proper almost off the pavement and again. This might be an ideal response to a rock, piece of tire, deer, turtle, or one thing else in my lane. Nevertheless, there was nothing in my lane — thus the phantom swerving designation. This happens at speeds of 30 mph or so on Wisconsin two-lane backroads that I’ve traveled many occasions with out seeing this habits. I’ve been very snug letting FSD Beta autosteer me on these backroads. The phantom swerving has occurred steadily sufficient recently to drive my passengers loopy and make me think about going again to driving manually.

Improper Lane Choice & Failure to Comply with the Navigation Route

I don’t see this a lot in rural Northern Wisconsin as a result of we seldom have a number of lanes right here. Nevertheless, on these few journeys to a much bigger metropolis, Rhinelander, I’ve seen V11.4.4 decide a lane inconsistent with the navigation and even deviate from the navigation route.

Musk Simply Forecasted Degree 4 or 5 Autonomy by the Finish of the 12 months: Are You Kidding Me?

Elon Musk retains forecasting enormous enhancements in FSD. His most up-to-date forecast is for Degree 4 or 5 autonomy by the tip of 2023. Are you kidding me? The reply to the query within the title of this text: These of us driving with FSD Beta on daily basis for nearly a yr (or extra) have seen a number of variations of the software program with important enhancements. Nevertheless, unsuitable lane choice, deviation from the navigation route, phantom braking and swerving, and timid habits at busy intersections are all showstoppers and appear to have not improved with a number of updates. Possibly a breakthrough is coming, however there isn’t a signal of it but on my finish.

Little Stuff

FSD Beta V11.4.4 sees cease indicators on streets which can be merging at a small angle. It’s going to make your automotive decelerate unnecessarily.

When turning proper from Freeway 32 onto Freeway 45 in Three Lakes, V11.4.4 turns me into the acceleration lane on the precise as a substitute of the principle site visitors lane, even with no site visitors. My automotive will keep within the passing lane till the final second when it disappears and it’ll merge into the principle site visitors lane. Additionally, between Three Lakes and Eagle River there’s a spot the place the street widens to let vehicles go stopped left-turning site visitors. V11.4.4 places my automotive within the right-hand lane even with no left-turning automobile. A standard driver wouldn’t do that.

V11.4.4 will usually activate the flip sign at sharp activates unmarked roads even when no flip onto one other street is required. If I do this type of factor myself, my spouse laughs at me.

V11.4.4 will typically cease lifeless earlier than turning from a serious street onto a minor street even with no oncoming site visitors. This might trigger a rear-end collision from a intently following automotive. I’m ready for this risk and add some accelerator stress if wanted. V11.4.4 will nonetheless do all the right steering for the flip. This habits will not be new.

V11.4.4 now makes very nice clean turns for lane modifications. It additionally normally makes very clean right-angle turns. Nevertheless, someday turning onto a minor street, the steering wheel will jerk wildly as soon as. Beforehand we’ve seen this habits at sluggish speeds in parking tons the place you’d get a number of jerks of the steering wheel.

Particularly these of you utilizing V11.4.4 in metropolitan areas, please give us your observations within the remark part as properly.

*Tesla has reactivated its referral program. In the event you discover any of my articles useful to you, please be happy to make use of my referral hyperlink: https://ts.la/arthur73734. If you’re shopping for a brand new Tesla and use my hyperlink (be sure you use it if you make your order), you’ll obtain $1,000 off your buy value and three months of Full Self-Driving (Beta). It’s going to drive you routinely to any handle you enter into the navigation — simply be ready to intervene instantly if it screws up.


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