Since October 2020 when the public FSD Beta program began, we’ve seen a new software release on a regular basis, typically on a 2-week agile release cadence. Now with the FSD Beta in as many as 100,000 cars across the US and Canada, the release schedule has altered.
Version 2022.4.5.21 was first noticed 3 weeks ago on April 4th. With little information about the delay, Tesla Owners Silicon Valley reached out to Elon on Twitter for an update.
Musk says the next update will probably go to wide release (outside internal employee testing) next week. Typically the releases are on the weekend (Friday night US time), making it likely we’ll be around May 6th before it’s in customer cars.
The second sentence in the week says ‘This is a big one’ which suggests the number of bug fixes and hopefully new capabilities and features is extensive with this release.
Given that statement, it seems increasingly likely that we could see an end to 10.xx and finally get the long-awaited v11 of FSD beta. Originally scheduled for late in 2021, v11 is expected to move to what is known as the ‘single stack’ code base.
This is a massive change to the architecture of the way FSD works.
Currently, the software is essentially split in two, between city streets and highway driving.
The software that controls the car on the highway is known as Navigate on Autopilot and for the most part, still heavily relies on some human crafted code to traverse a decision tree when making decisions like the available space for a lane merge, or which lane you should be in to take a highway exit. This is the legacy technique compared to city streets.
The software that controls the car in city streets and allows it to take roundabouts, turn corners etc, uses Neural Nets to take the visual input from the cameras and convert it to the vector space, almost like a video game and understand where the driveable space is.
With the driveable space understood as a hard limit, softer limits like the lane markings, road rules etc are also incorporated into the decision process, but importantly not human coded. Instead, these decisions about navigating the world safely are made using a massive training set of data, collected from the global fleet of Tesla vehicles and some simulations to accelerate the learning and reproduce edge cases.
In version 11 of the FSD Beta, these two software stacks will become one, with the neural nets reaching beyond the city streets, to all areas of driving, namely highways.
We are hoping there’s also some movement in the areas of the product that are currently not yet supported like routing through carparks, support for gradients like multi-story carparks, drive-thrus, reverse smart summon (drop you off and go find a park) and even something basic like reversing out of your driveway.
Smart Summon is at the other end of the speed range and this low-speed feature has been progressing at a low-speed. Development over the past year and change has been almost non-existent as the team focuses on city streets. For the software to be ‘feature complete’ or ‘as good as an average human driver’ by the end of this year, this has to also be worked on. There is a chance that a single-stack really does become used across all areas, low, medium and high-speed driving, only time will tell.
We should start to see release notes around mid-week to get a better understanding of how big Musk’s’ big one’ really is, so not long to wait now.
There is always a small chance single-stack is still not ready and we get v10.12, but hoping for more given the 4-week wait this time.
Until then, enjoy this FSD Beta 10.11.2 drive from Whole Mars Catalog.