Tesla Expands FSD Beta v12.3; Autopilot Director Confirms Ability to Reverse is Coming Soon

By Kevin Armstrong
FSD Beta v12 is living up to hype
FSD Beta v12 is living up to hype

Tesla's latest Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta v12 is reaching users after an extended rollout over the weekend. This update is not just another iteration; it represents a leap in self-driving technology, primarily due to its integration of end-to-end neural networks for vehicle control. So far, it seems to be living up to the hype.

A Neural Network Driven Approach

At the core of FSD v12 is a shift from traditional programming to neural network-based decision-making. This allows the vehicle to process raw camera footage and vehicle kinematics directly into driving actions, mimicking human cognitive processes more closely than ever before. Ashok Elluswamy, Director of Autopilot Software at Tesla, highlighted the monumental effort to surpass the capabilities of the previous v11, setting a new standard for FSD's future.

Ability to Reverse Is Coming

The release has garnered widespread acclaim, with tech leaders like Michael Dell praising its capabilities and likening the car to human-like driving proficiency. Many in the Tesla community have been posting their weekend drivers, including Chuck Cook, who was amazed during one point of his drive, referring to a move as “Robo-taxi navigation.” Cook believed he was in too tight of a spot to pull a U-turn, but his Tesla pulled it off. Elluswamy commented: “Reverse coming soon when the Actually Smart Summon and the FSD models merge together over the next few releases.”

There were numerous examples of v12.3 navigating complex driving scenarios easily, showcasing significant improvements over earlier versions.

“Reverse coming soon when the Actually Smart Summon and the FSD models merge together over the next few releases.” - Ashok Elluswamy

Next-Level Capabilities on the Horizon

Elon Musk has teased that v12.4 will introduce even more advanced features, emphasizing the continuous improvement in training compute constraints. In fact, he was so thrilled with the next update that he said it could be called version 13. He posted that “V12.4 is another big jump in capabilities. Our constraint in training compute is much improved.”

Update 2023.44.30.25

FSD 12.3
Installed on 0% of vehicles
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Last updated: Apr 22, 1:00 pm

Tesla’s FSD trajectory seems to be hitting a new level, as it appears to be headed toward approval of use on roadways in Europe. While it is taking longer than initially believed, the dream of autonomous driving seems to be getting closer to reality.

Tesla Is Ending Its Current Referral Program; New Version Will Arrive in “A Few Months”

By Cláudio Afonso
Tesla's Referral Program
Tesla's Referral Program
Not a Tesla App

Tesla shared on X that it’s ending its current referral program globally by the end of April. It’ll be replaced by a new one, but that is still “a few months away”, according to CEO Elon Musk.

When Musk was asked if the current credits would be lost, Musk responded by saying “No, just that new credits would not be earned until we launch a future referral program.” That means there’ll be a gap of a couple of months when owners will not be able to earn referral credits.

Tesla was always famous for relying on its community to promote its vehicles rather than spending millions (or even billions) in ad campaigns.

Through Tesla’s referral program — which started back in 2015— customers have been earning referral credits by having friends use their referral link when ordering a Tesla product or taking their first demo drive. At the time, it started with a direct $1,000 prize for the referrer but later evolved to a more complex system with different tiers and points.

Prizes have changed a lot over the years

In its latest version, scheduled to end by the end of the month, Tesla models (S, X, and Y), along with Powerwall, solar panels, and solar roofs, are available for purchase using a referral link. In this version, owners can redeem credits from merchandise to software upgrades for their vehicles. They can even redeem credits for several months free of Premium Connectivity or FSD.

The Evolution of the Referral Program

Tesla’s first referral program was released in July 2015 where customers who referred new buyers would receive $1,000 for every new Tesla Model S delivered. For those who were able to accrue 5 or 10 referrals for the US automaker, Tesla raised the bar and offered invitations to the opening of its Giga Factories or even a fully loaded Model X.

Over the first 2 years, Tesla significantly increased the value of the prizes and even offered free or discounted Roadsters with enough referrals. However, in 2019, Elon Musk decided to stop amid cost concerns.

The referral program was re-launched in late 2019 offering new buyers free supercharging for a period of time, FSD access, premium connectivity, or $500 off a new vehicle.

What’s Next

Given the considerable gap of “a few months” between the current program and the next one, it is expected that Tesla will bring a new structure with updated awards focused on minimizing Tesla’s cost while increasing the brand’s awareness.

Written by Cláudio Afonso | Info@claudio-afonso.com | LinkedIn | X

Tesla Reduces the Price of FSD and Various Models in the U.S. and Canada

By Cláudio Afonso

Tesla has reduced the price of its Full Self-Driving (FSD) software, dropping it from $12,000 to $8,000 for customers in the United States and from CA$16,000 to CA$11,000 in Canada. This move follows the recent 50% reduction in the subscription price announced on April 12.

Enhanced Autopilot Changes

The cost to upgrade from Enhanced Autopilot (EAP) to FSD has also been cut and is now a $2,000 upgrade for U.S. customers and CA$2,750 in Canada. EAP has also been removed as an option completely from Tesla’s site. Customers’ only option to get more advanced driver assist features in the U.S. and Canada is to now buy FSD.

In 2016, Enhanced Autopilot started at $5,000 while FSD was an extra $3,000. At the time, Enhanced Autopilot included features including Autosteer, Summon, and AutoPark, while more recently it also added Auto Lane Change and Navigate on Autopilot, which has the vehicle change lanes for you to remain on route to your destination.

Earlier this month, Tesla implemented a 50% price reduction for FSD subscriptions in the U.S. and introduced the subscription model in Canada at a great value of CA$99 per month.

FSD Price History

 In April 2019, Basic Autopilot was added to every Tesla vehicle, which included Autosteer and Tesla restructured their Enhanced Autopilot and FSD offerings. The price of FSD slowly climbed from $5,000 USD in 2019 to a high of $15,000 USD in September 2022 before trending downward.

Date

FSD Cost

April 2019

$5,000

May 2019

$6,000

August 2019

$7,000

July 2020

$8,000

October 2020

$10,000

January 2022

$12,000

September 2022

$15,000

September 2023

$12,000

April 2024

$8,000

Subscribe or Buy?

With the previous pricing of $12,000 in the United States, Tesla customers who subscribed to FSD for $99 a month would need more than 10 years to reach the purchase price. With the updated price of $8,000, that drops to about 6 and a half years. It’s worth noting that the average length of car ownership in the U.S. is about 8 years.

This decision follows Elon Musk’s recent initiative to offer FSD demonstrations to all customers in North America upon vehicle delivery. In a recent communication, the Tesla CEO emphasized the importance of FSD, stating that it had become mandatory in North America to conduct a brief FSD test ride with customers before handing over the vehicle.

In the same email, Musk added that “almost no one actually realizes how well (supervised) FSD actually works” while recognizing that the measure could “slow down the delivery process”.

Price Cuts

On Saturday, Tesla also cut prices by nearly $2,000 on the Model S, Model X, and Model Y in the U.S. The Model Y now starts at $42,990 before government incentives. Tesla has also begun reducing finance rates in various markets, which could make their way to North America in the near future.

Written by Cláudio Afonso | info@claudio-afonso.com | LinkedIn | X

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