Tesla, the electric car manufacturer, has decided to postpone the release of its highly anticipated Full Self-Driving (FSD) v12 software update, citing the need for additional testing beyond the confines of California. This update is considered a significant milestone in Tesla's autonomous driving program.
Despite CEO Elon Musk's repeated assertions over several years that Tesla would achieve self-driving capabilities by year-end, it appears that this goal will not be realized in the current year either.
In recent months, Musk had indicated that Tesla was gearing up to launch its FSD v12 update in December. However, it now appears that the release has encountered delays. The FSD v12 software update is expected to introduce what Musk has termed “end-to-end neural nets.” This represents a departure from previous updates, as the vehicle's controls would now be managed by neural networks rather than traditional programming.
In essence, this shift means that the vehicle's behaviors would be driven by artificial intelligence (AI), expanding beyond reliance solely on the vision system.
Originally slated for deployment to the Tesla fleet earlier this month, Musk addressed the delay during a recent discussion, stating that additional testing is necessary. While the new architecture performs well in California, Musk noted the need for more training in regions experiencing heavy precipitation.
Concerns have been raised by FSD Beta testers regarding the system's performance disparities, with observations that it excels in California compared to other regions, particularly during winter conditions and in snowy areas.
Musk mentioned that Tesla FSD v12 is already “on a lot of cars,” likely referring to the company's internal employee test fleet. Although significant, the update has not yet been extended to customers.
It is already on a lot of cars, but, given that is a completely new architecture, we are doing extra testing.
It works very well in California, but needs more training for heavy precipitation areas.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 28, 2023
Previously, Musk stated that v12 would take FSD “out of Beta,” without providing detailed clarification on that statement. It is noteworthy that Tesla continues to require FSD drivers to maintain hands on the steering wheel and be prepared to assume control at any moment. The automaker also emphasizes that it does not accept liability for accidents occurring during Autopilot or FSD operation.