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Tesla Finally Rolls Out FSD V12.4.2 To Some Normal Tesla Owners: What's New?

Tesla Finally Rolls Out FSD V12.4.2 To Some Normal Tesla Owners: What's New?

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After a month-long delay, Tesla sent FSD v12.4.2, updated to version 2024.15.10, to employees yesterday.

Just a few hours after sending the update to employees, Tesla began rolling it out to OG testers already using FSD v12.4.1.

Issues Behind the Delayed Release

On X, Elon Musk elaborated on some of the details behind the delay. He mentioned that part of the delay for V12.4.2 was related to training. Tesla observed fewer interventions with FSD v12.4, but the version had issues with driving smoothness. Ironically, this was supposed to be one of the main features of the version. Musk explained that part of the problem was focusing too much on interventions while not paying enough attention to normal driving. He likened it to training doctors to handle emergency room patients instead of training them for routine preventive care.

Musk previously posted on social platform X that FSD V12.4 is a significant update to FSD. In early June, Musk mentioned on X that the changes in version V12.4 are so substantial that it could be called FSD V13. However, Tesla has not yet rolled out this version to all its FSD users.

The development of Tesla's FSD system is a crucial part of its long-term plans, with the autonomous Robotaxi, expected to launch on August 8, 2024, set to heavily rely on FSD capabilities. Therefore, it’s not surprising, given Musk's recent posts on X, that Tesla is committed to ensuring FSD can drive as smoothly as possible.

Vision-based Attention Monitoring Changes

With the FSD update 12.4.2, Tesla has revised some of the language used in its release notes regarding vision-based attention monitoring.

Here is a breakdown of some key points in the updated language. The changes in the release notes are as follows:

"When Full Self-Driving (supervised) is enabled, the driver monitoring system now primarily relies on the cabin camera to determine driver attention. This enhancement applies to vehicles equipped with a cabin camera and only when the cabin camera can clearly and continuously see the driver’s eyes. The cabin camera must have a clear view (e.g., the camera is unobstructed, the eyes and arms are clearly visible, cabin lighting is sufficient, and the driver is facing forward looking at the road without wearing sunglasses, hats with brims, or other objects that cover the eyes).

 

In other situations, the driver monitoring system will continue to primarily rely on a combination of torque-based (steering wheel) and vision-based monitoring to detect driver attention. When the cabin camera is actively monitoring driver attention, a green dot will appear next to the steering wheel icon on the touchscreen. If the cabin camera detects driver inattention, a warning will appear. The driver can immediately return their attention to the road ahead to clear the warning. Warnings will escalate based on the nature and frequency of detected inattention, with sustained inattention resulting in FSD disengagement. The images from the cabin camera do not leave the vehicle itself, meaning that the system cannot save or transmit information unless you have enabled data sharing."

Arm Visibility and Other Changes

There are several interesting changes here. While some revisions simply clarify the language to make the features clearer, others are noteworthy and may indicate changes in Tesla's vision-based monitoring.

First is the addition of the "arm visibility" requirement. Apparently, Tesla now wants to see your arms to better detect attention. Tesla may want to see your arms on the steering wheel, or they might want to ensure your arms are moving to prevent someone from bypassing the attention monitoring by placing a static photo in front of the cabin camera. The exact reason is unclear, but it appears that arm visibility is now a requirement.

There are also other minor changes, such as replacing the specific mention of "hats with brims" with more general language requiring the driver’s eyes to be visible. However, Tesla has removed the part where the driver monitoring system relies on a combination of torque (steering wheel) and vision-based monitoring. This has been changed to simply state that when vision-based monitoring is unavailable, Tesla will primarily rely on torque (steering wheel) monitoring. It is unclear if this is merely a semantic change that better describes how vision monitoring functions or if Tesla has made changes such that the vehicle now either uses vision monitoring or steering wheel torque detection, without combining the two sources to detect driver attention.

More intriguingly, the final sentence, "The images from the cabin camera do not leave the vehicle itself, meaning that the system cannot save or transmit information unless you have enabled data sharing," has been removed. This might suggest that Tesla is saving images from the cabin camera to improve its AI training models. Whenever the vision-based monitoring system is active, Tesla displays a green dot on the screen.

Release Date

Regardless, we are excited to see FSD v12.4.2 finally being released to employees and early access owners. This version is expected to significantly reduce interventions and improve vehicle smoothness during braking and acceleration.

If no major issues are discovered, this update may be widely available to all customers using FSD and running versions 2024.14 or lower in the coming weeks.

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