Tesla is starting to push a new version (10.9) of its Full Self-Driving Beta software update with some improvements, and Elon Musk announced an expansion of the test program in Canada. For more than a year now, Tesla has been slowly rolling out what it is calling “Full Self-Driving Beta” (FSD Beta), which is an early version of its self-driving software that is currently being tested by a fleet of Tesla owners selected by the company and through its “safety test score.“
The software enables the vehicle to drive autonomously to a destination entered in the car’s navigation system, but the driver needs to remain vigilant and ready to take control at all times.
Since the responsibility lies with the driver and not Tesla’s system, it is still considered a level two driver-assist system despite its name. It has been sort of a “two steps forward, one step back” type of program, as some updates have seen regressions in terms of the driving capabilities.
In recent updates, the automaker has been releasing more details about the changes to the driving behaviors in the release notes.
Here are the release notes for Tesla FSD Beta 10.9:
- Improved intersection extents and right of way assignment by updating modeling of intersection areas from dense rasters (“bag of points”) to sparse instances. Increased intersection region IOU by 4.2%. The sparse intersection network is the first model deployed with an auto-regressive architecture that runs natively with low latency on the TRIP AI accelerator chip, through innovations in the AI compiler stack.
- Upgraded generalized static object network to use 10-bit photon count streams rather than 8-bit ISP tone-mapped images by adding 10-bit inference support in the AI compiler stack. Improved overall recall by 3.9% and precision by 1.7%.
- Made unprotected left turns across oncoming lanes more natural by proceeding straight into intersection while yielding, before initiating the turn.
- Improved lane preference and topology estimation by 1.2% with network update and a new format for navigation clues.
- Improved short deadline lane changes with better modeling of necessary deceleration for maneuvers beyond lane change.
- Improved future paths for objects no confined to lane geometry by better modeling of their kinematics.
- Made launches from stop more calm when there is an imminent slowdown nearby.
- Improved gap selection when yielding to a stream of oncoming cars on narrow roads.
Based on the percentages of improvements, it looks like a more modest update than the previous ones, but CEO Elon Musk did say that a bigger update (11) is coming likely next month.
It should also coincide with an expansion of Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Beta program in Canada.
The CEO announced last night on Twitter:
We will start rolling out FSD beta in Canada cautiously in next 2 to 4 weeks.
This will be the first official expansion of the FSD Beta to customers outside of the US.
Musk didn’t talk about the “safety score” system, which is part of how Tesla decides who gets access to the FSD Beta.
It currently isn’t available in Canada, so the automaker would presumably have to launch that first, and the people who get the best scores and purchased the Full Self-Driving package would get it first.