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New Tesla update promises a human-like driving experience

With the ‘beta’ label still in place, investors and enthusiasts are left wondering if the dream of a fully autonomous robo-taxi is closer to reality.

tesla badge on model 3 with full self-driving
Image: Kevin Raposo / KnowTechie

Tesla just took a giant step in the self-driving car arena with the release of their latest Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta v12 update.

This isn’t just any old software tweak; it’s a major pivot to a system that’s entirely powered by neural networks. That’s right, they’ve shelved the traditional coding strategies in favor of a setup that’s all AI, all the time.

Before FSD Beta v12, or v12.12, Tesla’s FSD software was a combo meal of neural networks for the visuals and standard code for the driving decisions. But with v12, it’s a full-course neural network feast.

To compare apples to apples, imagine swapping out a hefty 300,000 lines of C++ code for a single neural network that’s been trained on a mountain of driving footage.

fsd beta v12 visualization
Image: Not A Tesla App

The early feedback from the beta testers is promising, with reports of drives that feel like there’s a human behind the wheel. They’re spotting improvements in how the car handles complicated driving situations and adapts to new roads.

However, others note the software still has ‘rough edges’ and might not be ready for a wider release until March.

Tesla began handing the keys to the new beta to an exclusive club of over 15,000 Tesla employee-owned vehicles in late December 2023. Following encouraging reviews and some testing, the software started its rollout to the public in January 2024.

Despite the buzz around Tesla’s FSD Beta v12, some skepticism remains. A recent Fortune article echoes concerns that, while improvements are evident, Musk’s promise of a ‘ChatGPT moment’ for Tesla may not be fully realized just yet.

With the ‘beta’ label still in place, investors and enthusiasts are left wondering if the dream of a fully autonomous robo-taxi is closer to reality or if expectations need to be tempered.

Do you think Tesla will ever reach full autonomy, or is Musk just blowing smoke? Drop us a line below in the comments, or carry the discussion to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Kevin is KnowTechie's founder and executive editor. With over 15 years of blogging experience in the tech industry, Kevin has transformed what was once a passion project into a full-blown tech news publication. Shoot him an email at kevin@knowtechie.com or find him on Mastodon or Post.

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