Tesla Makes Improvements to Camera Clarity [Video] [Update: Now in update 2023.32]

By Kevin Armstrong
FSD Beta 11.4.7 includes improved processing for camera feeds
FSD Beta 11.4.7 includes improved processing for camera feeds

Tesla has recently released the FSD Beta version 11.4.7 to a broader range of customer testers, and many Tesla owners are already observing notable enhancements in the side repeater cameras. The interesting twist to the story is that many believed the new images that were surfacing were produced by newer vehicles equipped with HW4's higher resolution cameras, but that is not the case.

Musk Confirms Enhancement

@WholeMarsBlog questioned Elon Musk on whether advanced post-processing was integrated into the improved camera views in FSD Beta 11.4.7 (release notes). During a conversation on X Spaces, Musk confirmed that software had been employed to enhance the camera previews. The FSD 11.4.7 update brought with it refined post-processing, resulting in a more precise white balance, color balance and much sharper images when drivers view the side cameras while on the road. This is a marked improvement compared to the previous FSD Beta 11.4.6 version.

Before & After Video Comparison

Everything Looks Better with Update

Mike, a Tesla enthusiast from CyberOwners.com, underscored the substantial improvements he noticed in his 2019 Model 3 after updating to FSD beta 11.4.7. He enthusiastically described the update as an “amazing improvement” in the performance of the turn signal cameras compared to the earlier version.

Although Mike did not review the dashcam, he mentioned that the rear camera performance, which was already satisfactory, has been further refined. “Rear looks great... of course, rear already looked good compared to the repeaters,” Mike stated during a discussion on platform X. He also lauded the software update for rectifying the “proper color balance,” a recurrent issue with the older cameras.

This progress is especially significant considering Mike’s Model 3 is a 2019 version equipped with older cameras, notorious for their “light bleed at night.” Tesla has since rectified this hardware issue in recent models. This suggests that Tesla’s software development team concentrates on enhancing new models and is dedicated to optimizing the performance of older vehicles.

Chuck Cook, another tester, also demonstrated the camera enhancements of FSD beta 11.4.7. While acknowledging that the locations and lighting in his comparison were slightly different, Cook noted additional processing was evident.

This is an incredible software enhancement for cameras that have a resolution of 1.2 megapixels. The new cameras are 5 megapixels, which means that advanced hardware mixed with the new software will make for crystal clear images. This makes sense. The car must have the best visual inputs, considering that Tesla is moving toward “nothing but nets” FSD, relying solely on what the car sees and not how it is coded.

Update: A big question on everyone's mind was whether these camera feed improvements would roll out to non-FSD updates. Since they weren't explicitly related to FSD Beta, it would be likely that they would eventually be merged into Tesla's main branches, but the question remained — when? We're now seeing several reports that these camrea improvements are included in Tesla's latest update, version 2032.32.1.

Tesla FSD Beta v12 Auto Parks, Completes U-Turns, But Removes Traffic-Aware Cruise Control Ability

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla has released FSD Beta v12 to some customers
Tesla has released FSD Beta v12 to some customers

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.

FSD V12 Does U-Turns

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.

Parking Mode / First Glimpse at Park Seek

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.

This could be our first glimpse at Tesla’s upcoming Park Seek feature that will eventually let the vehicle drop you off at the door and then go park itself.

Return of the Snapshot Button

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.

TACC is No Longer Accessible

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.

Update 2023.44.30.20

FSD 12.2.1
Installed on 0% of vehicles
0 Installs today
Last updated: Feb 24, 6:00 am

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.

Tesla Targets Sentry Mode Vampire Drain: Upcoming Update to Slash Power Use by 40%

By Kevin Armstrong
Sentry Mode Update is Coming
Sentry Mode Update is Coming

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.

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.

Understanding the Drain of Sentry Mode

Sentry Mode is an advanced security feature for Tesla vehicles, leveraging the car’s cameras and sensors to monitor and record surroundings for potential threats when parked. Sentry Mode has proven invaluable for vehicle security by activating various deterrents, including pulsing headlights and alarm sounds.

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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