Today, Tesla hit go on the wide scale rollout of their latest OTA software update, with plenty of users reporting online they’re seeing the update available through their mobile app.
Version 2020.12.11.1 delivers FSD Visualization Improvements. These improvements mean that more of the world around your vehicle are displayed around the digital version of your car on screen.
Traffic lights, stop signs, road markings and yes, wheelie bins are now all shown once you enable this feature. While the release notes have the heading ‘Driving Visualization Improvements’, the actual feature name you have to enable from the Autopilot screen is called ‘Driving Visualization Preview’.
This preview suggests that you’re about to get a preview of things to come in the future. In reality, from watching the developments in the US, that’s exactly what this is.
While Australians are just getting the chance to show traffic lights and stop signs on the display, the next step is to have the car respond to that and actually stop at intersections.
With Autopilot, the car does a great job of following other cars and adaptive cruise control usually slows you down at a red light to stop, but only if you’re following another car. If you happen to be first to the light, the car will currently let you run the light. In the future, the car will detect the red light and slow to a stop at the line.
As the confidence in the data improves, Tesla will roll that feature internationally and when they do, it’ll be a dramatic safety improvement over any other car on the market.
After receiving the update in my Model 3 this morning, I had an opportunity to record a quick video which will form a larger part of my overall first impressions of the Full Self Driving package.
If you haven’t purchased FSD, this preview will not be available to you.
After using the updated visualizations, I’ve got to say, they’re a really great addition to what is an already impressive digital representation of the car and it’s surroundings.
It happened to be bin day today in my neighborhood, which made for a perfect day to test the wheelie bins, turns out our driver was a little rough and a number were tipped over. These were not shown at all on the display.
Tesla trains their AI to recognize objects (and hazards) using a computer vision system. This means they show AI millions of images of something and allow the system to learn. The mistakes are corrected and eventually the model is trained to recognise things with a very high confidence.
I’m not surprised a wheelie bin laying down isn’t part of their training set, but if that bin were to be on the road, that may be more important, particularly if the car needs to navigate around it.
As for the line markings on the road, that’s a really great addition which really does give you hope that all kinds of signs are next on the roadmap.
Overall, it’s an exciting update and one that shows Tesla are well out ahead of the competition, not by months, but years and the rate of innovation is dramatic that imagining anyone catches up, is incredibly hard to do right now.