Tesla FSD Beta V11.3 Goes Out to Employees With New Visuals

By Nuno Cristovao
Tesla FSD Beta 11.3 contains new visualizations
Tesla FSD Beta 11.3 contains new visualizations
@clteaa

Over the weekend Tesla released FSD Beta V11.3 (release notes) to more employees. It's not clear whether all employees now have access to the latest beta or if the number of employees was expanded. 

Tesla typically releases the latest FSD Beta to all employees as a final test before starting its public release. We could see the first public release of the beta later today.

Elon Musk said earlier this month that FSD Beta V11.3 would start rolling out last week. However, it could be a while before it rolls out to everyone with FSD Beta installed. According to the latest Tesla 'recall,' Tesla now has 362,000 vehicles in the US and Canada running FSD Beta.

Improved Visualizations

We previously heard that FSD Beta V11 would include improved visuals. We now have our first look at these improvements. From the leaked photo we can tell the vehicle's path is much wider. The reason for this could be that Tesla wants to not only represent the path the vehicle will take, but also the space the vehicle will take up when it's at a specific location. 

Another obvious change is the removal of the red road edges. They appear to have been replaced with light gray lines instead, which fits in with Tesla's simplistic style of the surrounding environment.

The dotted lines between the lanes also have a different style. They used to be very defined and now have a slight blur to them, similar to other road markings. It'd be interesting to see if Tesla is now using vision to determine the dotted line width and length.

It's hard to tell much else from the image, but the vehicle appears to be on a highway, which means that the FSD Beta visuals will be applied to highway use as expected. It's not clear whether there are other improvements in the visualizations or if can detect new objects.

New Features

With the expansion of the beta to more employees, the release notes for V11.3 have now been leaked, at least partially. The biggest feature on the list is the expected single-stack transition, where Tesla will now use everything it has learned from FSD Beta on city streets and use the same technology for Autopilot on the highway.

However, the list of improvements is long and notable.

Leave Notes About a Disengagement

One of the improvements in this beta according to the release notes is the addition of 'voice drive-notes,' which will allow you to comment on a disengagement with an audio description.

- Added voice drive-notes. After an intervention, you can now send Tesla an anonymous voice message describing your experience to help improve Autopilot.

This will presumably be done through a voice command and Tesla is likely transcribing these to text on their end to make them readable and searchable instead of having to listen to a message, although it appears that you will be able to leave a comment after a disengagement. This may work similarly to the 'Report a bug' feature.

Expanded Automatic Emergency Braking

With this beta, Tesla is expanding Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) to handle vehicles crossing in your path. AEB was limited to when approaching another vehicle from behind, however, Tesla is expanding this to also apply to vehicles crossing your path. Although this is lumped in with the FSD Beta's release notes, and it depends on vision and improvements made with FSD Beta, it will not only apply to FSD/Autopilot but also when you're driving manually.

In the release notes Tesla mentions that according to data they've collected this improvement with AEB would have prevented 49% of collisions.

Improved Highway Handling

One of the features I'm excited to see in this release is the improvement to the vehicle's path when traveling on the highway. If you encounter a sharp turn, the vehicle tends to get too close to the outside of the curve instead of keeping itself in the center of the lane.

This will apparently be improved with this update as Tesla says there is improved handling at high speeds in high curvature scenarios.

The release notes cover other improvements as well, such as improved lane changes and mergers, as well as object detection and decision-making refinements.

This software version that was released to employees is version 2022.45.5, which is untraditional for Tesla since it has an odd week in the version number, although since we're getting closer to the expected release of FSD Beta V11.3, it's possible this could be the version everyone receives in the coming weeks.

Now that release notes and the first image has been shared, we may soon see what else is included in this update. To find out more about this beta, check out the release notes for FSD Beta V11.3.

Update: First videos of FSD Beta 11.3 have now been posted that show off the new visualizations and better handling.

Tesla Vehicles Spotted With LiDAR: What Do They Use It For?

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Tesla recently hit the news for purchasing approximately $2M in LiDAR sensors from Luminar, one of Tesla’s long-term suppliers. You’ve probably seen photos of Tesla’s Semi and various Tesla models, including the Model 3 and Model Y sporting LIDAR equipment on the roof. These cars drive around with manufacturer plates scanning streets and highways.

However, many people confuse Tesla’s purpose in purchasing LiDAR equipment with using it for FSD versus testing. So, let’s look at what LiDAR is, and why Tesla uses it on its Fleet Validation Vehicles.

What is LiDAR?

LiDAR stands for Light Detecting and Ranging – essentially using lasers to measure distances. A laser pulse is sent out, and the time it takes to return is measured – providing extremely accurate distance measurements.

Some companies working on self-driving vehicles, including Waymo and BYD, use LiDAR as part of their self-driving suites, but Tesla is one of the few stand-outs that does not. Even Rimac’s “Verne” Robotaxi – which uses self-driving technology from Mobileye, also uses LiDAR.

While LiDAR can produce extremely accurate and high-quality 3D environments, it comes with its downsides as well. Not only is LiDAR costly and requires large gear strapped to a vehicle, but it also can not be used in bad weather and can have interference issues if there are other strong light sources present.

Why Does Tesla Use LiDAR?

A LiDAR rig mounted on a Tesla Semi for testing FSD.
A LiDAR rig mounted on a Tesla Semi for testing FSD.
Not a Tesla App

At Autonomy Day in 2019, Elon Musk mentioned that LiDAR isn’t the solution for self-driving cars – it's just a crutch. Thus, Tesla hasn’t used LiDAR for any production self-driving software.

Instead, Tesla uses it exactly how it's described – they use it to gather ground-truth data. This data is then used to feed Tesla’s Full Self Driving system – which helps validate its vision-only system's accuracy. LiDAR provides very accurate measurements to help ensure that FSD’s perception of space is accurate – and is only used by Tesla to ensure that its AI technology which is the brains of FSD is capable of accurately interpreting depth from just visual data.

Tesla’s vision-only system has been seen to be extremely accurate, with Vision-only Autopark being able to park in even narrower and tighter spaces faster than the previous version that relied on ultrasonic sensors.

We’ll likely continue to see Tesla purchase LiDAR systems, as well as use them for validation well into the future.

Tesla's Upcoming Robotaxi Event in August Delayed, According to Bloomberg

By Karan Singh
Sugar Design

In a report from Bloomberg, it is claimed that Tesla will be delaying its much-anticipated 8/8 Robotaxi event by two months to October 2024.

While sources other than Bloomberg haven't confirmed this report, Bloomberg has a positive track record of reporting on financial decisions. We’ll be sure to update the article if there is confirmation on X from Elon Musk or another Tesla senior official.

Tesla’s stock has dropped nearly 8.5% over the day, ending back-to-back gains over the last two weeks. It closed yesterday at $ 241 after hitting a peak of $270 earlier in the day before the news broke.

Why the Delay?

The delay – of approximately two months – has been communicated internally, but not publicly announced just yet. Bloomberg goes on to mention that the design team was told to rework certain elements of the Cybercab, necessitating the delay.

If Bloomberg’s report is correct, it sounds like Tesla’s unveil event will be largely focused on showing off the vehicle, instead of demoing how it will work. Of course, it could still be both, but given past events, Tesla has always shown off the vehicle years before it hits production.

Rimac recently showed off their version of robotaxi vehicle named Verne, and surprisingly, it could almost pass for Tesla’s own robotaxi. A lot of design cues in Rimac’s version are elements we have already seen or expect to see in Tesla’s autonomous taxi.

A recent Tesla patent revealed that Tesla is incorporating a sanitation system into their robotaxi that will be responsible for analyzing and cleaning the vehicle’s interior, although the delay itself is likely tied more to a physical feature rather than software.

Another element we know almost nothing about is how Tesla plans to charge these robotic taxis. Will they rely on the existing charge port and adapt a solution like the robotic charging arm (video below) we saw almost eight years ago, or will wireless charging or a dock finally become realized?

While the delay for Tesla’s event appears to be related to the vehicle’s design itself and not further development of FSD, Tesla is wasting no time in getting FSD working for the upcoming vehicle. Model 3 vehicles have already been spotted with camera locations that resemble a robotaxi.

Is the Delay Accurate?

We expect that this delay might actually be true – Elon Musk usually takes to X within hours of such news breaking if it's false to refute it and hasn’t done so yet.

Tesla has delayed several of their events in the past, and a delay of a couple of months seems plausible. We should hear from Musk himself soon on whether this report is accurate.

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