Tesla has made improvements to automatic emergency braking
Tesla has introduced notable upgrades to its Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) system in a recent FSD Beta update. Initially, FSD Beta 11.3, which only went out to Tesla employees, included a significant update to Tesla's automatic emergency braking.
Other features were removed from the release notes in FSD Beta 11.3.1, including Voice Drive Notes, which was clearly still available in the public beta. It's not clear whether the changes to the release notes was a mistake or if Tesla chosen to highlight changes between 11.3 and 11.3.1.
AEB Now Detects Vehicles Moving Across Tesla's Path
The company's impact report has recently confirmed that the improved AEB system was incorporated into the FSD Beta. The enhancements include detecting and responding to vehicles moving perpendicular to the Tesla. This advanced feature aims to reduce the likelihood of accidents occurring when other vehicles cross Tesla's path, such as running red lights or cutting the Tesla off.
This development represents a significant leap forward in AEB technology, as traditional systems mainly focus on detecting and reacting to objects and vehicles directly in front of the car. With the ability to detect crossing vehicles, Tesla's upgraded AEB system offers increased safety and assistance to drivers.
Expanded Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) to handle vehicles that cross ego's path. This includes cases where other vehicles run their red light or turn across ego's path, stealing the right-of-way. Replay of previous collisions of this type suggests that 49% of the events would be mitigated by the new behavior. This improvement is now active in both manual driving and autopilot operation.
Safety Improvements Tested Extensively with Fleet Miles
Tesla has rigorously tested and validated these AEB advancements by utilizing millions of fleet miles in shadow mode. The Tesla Vision system, which consists of eight cameras, allows Tesla vehicles to identify and react to oncoming vehicles well beyond the range of traditional sensors. In addition, the Automatic Emergency Braking system offers a loud warning and rapid braking when a Tesla vehicle senses an impending collision, and the driver has not intervened.
These AEB enhancements demonstrate Tesla's commitment to improving road safety and minimizing accident risks. In 2021, US pedestrian and road-user fatalities reached their highest levels, with a 53% increase since 2012 and over 75% of deaths at night. Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, and Model Y have all received five-star ratings from Euro NCAP, including for nighttime pedestrian crash avoidance. Furthermore, the Model 3 and Model Y have earned a "Superior" rating from IIHS for the nighttime performance of their pedestrian AEB systems.
Improved AEB System Expected to Reach All Tesla Owners
The availability of the improved AEB for all Tesla owners remains uncertain, as FSD Beta is currently separate from other updates. However, considering Tesla's history of prioritizing safety features, it is likely that the upgraded Automatic Emergency Braking system will eventually be made accessible to all users. This move would further solidify Tesla's position as a manufacturer of some of the safest vehicles available today.
Moreover, Tesla's commitment to vehicle safety and continuous software updates demonstrates its dedication to its customers. As Tesla learns more about real-world driving scenarios and collects data from its fleet, it will continue refining and enhancing its driver assistance systems. The result is a safer and more reliable driving experience for Tesla owners and other road users.
Integrating the improved AEB system into Tesla's FSD Beta may pave the way for more advanced driver assistance features. In addition, by incorporating cutting-edge technology and prioritizing safety, Tesla sets a high standard for other automakers to follow in creating vehicles that protect their occupants and other road users.
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Tesla's FSD Beta version 12.2.1, update 2023.44.30.20, recently started going out to some owners, which resulted in more videos posted on X. There are several examples of amazing technology at work, but also evidence that more work is needed.
Ashok Elluswamy, Tesla's Director of Autopilot Software, recently highlighted the sophistication of FSD Beta v12 on X, emphasizing how the system's end-to-end approach is tackling complex driving scenarios with remarkable ease. His response came to a video of FSD maneuvering around a large puddle.
This is the sort of driving that's really hard to code explicitly, but our end-to-end approach brings in almost effortlessly. https://t.co/gw4vipu9iY
One of the standout features of FSD Beta v12 is its ability to execute U-turns seamlessly when required by the route. This is where real-world examples show the good and the bad of this highly advanced maneuver come into play. X user AI DRIVR, an account posting several high-quality videos of V12.2.1 in action, demonstrates a flawless U-turn.
Unfortunately, not all U-turns posted on X are as pretty; Randolph Kim has been experimenting with several scenarios. While later videos showed better behavior with u-turns and roundabouts, the earlier attempts had to be disengaged.
FSD Beta v12.2.1 attempts U-turns at signalized intersections. So, I wanted to see how far I could push it. Looking for U-turns in LA, maps showed a U-turn at a left turn pocket on a smaller 4-lane mixed-use road. Car overshot the U-turn and had to disengage due to oncoming car. pic.twitter.com/hCfQYFh4ue
During our first glimpse of FSD v12 during Musk’s livestream, we noticed a new behavior when the vehicle reached its destination. Instead of just stopping, the vehicle now pulled over to the side of the road. However, it looks like the newest release goes one step further.
In a video by ArthurFromX, the vehicle is navigating to a parking lot. Not only does the vehicle successfully navigate to the parking lot, but it hunts around for a spot and then successfully parks without any additional instructions.
Tesla appears to have reintroduced the Snapshot button in this update, at least to some owners. The snapshot button allows drivers to send additional information to Tesla regarding Autopilot's performance. This feature and the existing voice command feedback option provide Tesla with invaluable data to improve the FSD system further.
Automatic Speed Offset
Another noteworthy addition is the Automatic Set Speed Offset feature, which grants the vehicle autonomy to adjust its speed based on factors such as road type, traffic flow, and environmental conditions. The video below shows this feature in action. The feature is turned off by default and it currently only applies to street-level roads, but it’s a shift toward more human-like behavior for FSD Beta.
Recently, Tesla revised the Autopilot activation method to avoid confusion and offered drivers two choices — a single pull of the stalk to enable FSD Beta or the traditional two taps. However, with FSD Beta v12, drivers are now required to use the single pull method to activate Autopilot.
Traffic-Aware Cruise Control (TACC) has traditionally been one pull of the stalk and Autopilot two pulls, but with the new single-pull method to activate Autopilot, TACC becomes unavailable. This hasn’t been a big deal until the release of FSD v12. With v12 Tesla is now requiring FSD Beta to use the single tap activation method.
This means that if a driver chooses to use FSD Beta, then TACC is no longer accessible. The only way to enable it is to go into Controls > Autopilot and turn off FSD Beta and instead choose Autosteer (or TACC). However, if you wish to enable FSD Beta again later, then it requires the vehicle to be in Park. Switching between Autosteer and FSD Beta isn’t practical for drivers. For those who rely on TACC, this issue could be a significant disadvantage in this release.
Several drivers have praised FSD Beta v12’s ability to navigate complex situations, better decision-making, and smoother behavior. However, as with any cutting-edge technology, there have been instances where the system's responses have room for improvement, highlighting the importance of its continued development.
In an exchange on X, Drew Baglino, Tesla’s Senior Vice President of Powertrain and Energy Engineering, addressed the concerns regarding the power consumption of Tesla’s Sentry Mode. Responding to a user inquiry, Baglino confirmed the company’s commitment to reducing the feature's energy use by approximately 40% through a software update expected in Q2, which begins on April 1.
Agreed, sentry mode power consumption needs improvement, the team is working to reduce by ~40% in a Q2 software update.
This announcement follows feedback from Tesla owners regarding the 'vampire drain' experienced when using Sentry Mode, highlighting Tesla's responsive approach to customer feedback and its dedication to continuous improvement. Another X user stated that there should be a breakdown or battery usage. This information already exists, but Baglino politely responded: The energy app provides a wealth of information about where your energy goes. He also linked to our Not a Tesla App article explaining that system.
Despite its benefits, the feature’s energy consumption, referred to as “vampire drain,” has been a concern, with estimates suggesting a small yet consistent drain on the vehicle's battery life. By optimizing Sentry Mode's power usage, Tesla enhances the feature's efficiency and extends the usability for owners, particularly when parking for extended periods without access to charging facilities.
Battery Management: Recognizing the importance of battery preservation, Sentry Mode automatically deactivates when the battery level falls to 20%, ensuring that the vehicle remains operational for essential travel.
Activation and Customization: Owners can activate Sentry Mode via the vehicle's touchscreen or mobile app, with options to customize settings, such as disabling sounds or excluding specific locations, tailoring the security feature to individual preferences and requirements.
Tesla's forthcoming software update aims to significantly reduce Sentry Mode's power usage, making it more adaptable for various situations without impacting the car's range or battery longevity. This enhancement aligns with Tesla's commitment to continuous improvement via over-the-air updates, directly responding to customer feedback with practical solutions. Owners looking forward to this change appreciate the balance between maintaining Sentry Mode's security benefits and preserving battery life for everyday needs.
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