Tesla FSD V12.4.1 Goes Out: Exploring No Nags and More [Video]

By Karan Singh
Tesla will now alert you when vision-monitoring isn't being used
Tesla will now alert you when vision-monitoring isn't being used
@WifeDirtyTesla

With FSD V12.4.1 finally beginning its rollout to select customers as of last night. You’re probably wondering exactly how nags will – or won’t – work for the updated and much-hyped update.

No Steering Wheel Nags

Tesla’s current implementation of no steering wheel nags on V12.4.1 is pretty simple and straightforward. As long as you’re paying attention and looking at the road, you won’t be required to touch the steering wheel. You’ll see a green dot on the screen, letting you know that the enhanced driver monitoring system (DMS) and Vision-Based Attention Monitoring (VBAM) are active.

On the Model S and X, the green dot is on the instrument cluster screen, immediately next to the blue FSD/AP wheel icon. On the Model 3 and Model Y (and Cybertruck, in the future), the green dot indicator is on the top left of the screen, in between the battery indicator and the blue FSD/AP wheel.

However, there are some restrictions baked into this initial implementation. Your eyes cannot be obscured or occluded from the cabin camera. This means that legacy vehicles are ineligible for the new VBAM, along with anyone who installs a physical camera cover for privacy or other reasons.

For the privacy-conscious folks, Tesla has mentioned that cabin camera imagery will not leave the vehicle itself unless you enable data sharing, which is optional. Cabin camera imagery is also not available to view via the API, so third-party integrations cannot view your cabin camera either.

The green dot on the center display
The green dot on the center display
Whole Mars Catalog

Restrictions

There are some other catches too. The cabin camera is currently unable to see through sunglasses due to the polarization. The car will display “Attention monitoring unavailable, sunglasses use detected” on the screen. This could change in the future as Tesla figures out how to best take advantage of its cabin cameras. However, it can see through regular glasses just fine – so eyeglass wearers, rejoice!

Attention monitoring unavailable, sunglasses use detected

Vehicles that do not have IR lights in the cabin will also not be able to take advantage of VBAM at night – as the cameras in vehicles without IR lights are unable to see at night. Tesla does offer a refit for vehicles to upgrade to IR-capable cameras – put in a service ticket if you’re interested through the Service Menu on the app.

If it cannot find your eyes due to any of these restrictions, the green light will not come on, and the regular wheel nags that you are used to will continue.

Warnings and Suspensions

If VBAM determines that you’re not paying attention – initially a screen warning will appear, telling you to pay attention to the road. This can be dismissed quickly by just reverting your attention to the road ahead of you. You won’t have to touch the steering wheel to dismiss the nag.

However, if you continue to not pay attention and the DMS detects improper usage, you will receive an Autopilot Strikeout, and FSD will disengage. Before a Strikeout occurs, there will be multiple auditory and visual warnings, ensuring you have a few moments to bring your attention back to supervising FSD.

You can receive up to 5 Strikeouts before the FSD becomes suspended. One strikeout will be lifted per 7-day period in which you do not receive a Strikeout. If you hit 5 Strikeouts, it could be up to 5 weeks before you clear all of them! If you receive another Strikeout within that 7-day period after an initial Strikeout, the 7-day period is reset.

Other Changes

Elon Musk has mentioned that V12.4 was supposed to be focused on user comfort, by reducing hard acceleration and braking. According to Musk, it should have a 5-10x improvement between user disengagements.

Early Access owners have mentioned that 12.4 tends to be more assertive and less hesitant when it comes to intersections, stop signs, and parking lots. Owners have also noticed improvements in the “lane dancing”, where FSD V12.3 would stray in between lanes for too long while changing lanes.

Of additional note is that Vision Autopark is slightly faster – but this is the same Vision Autopark speed increase that rolled out to customers who have already received the Spring Update. For everyone else, expect a 2-3x improvement in how fast Vision Autopark changes directions, and how fast it maneuvers in general. As of the Spring Update, it can now park in even tighter spaces.

Another much-appreciated feature is the ability to temporarily increase the sensitivity of Autowipers. As many have experienced, the Autowiper functionality doesn’t always work well. However, with the Spring Update, you can now temporarily increase the sensitivity of the Autowiper system by tapping once on the wiper stalk (or button on stalkless vehicles).

Missed Features

Sadly, some previously announced features were missed out on in this release of FSD V12.4.1. Namely, the key features of Banish Autopark and Park Seek. For the time being, users will still have to disengage FSD and then engage Autopark once they find their parking spot.

Banish Autopark, or “Reverse Summon” was thought to arrive in V12.4 as part of the comfort update according, allowing you to choose a parking spot type preference, exit the vehicle, and then have the car park itself.

Additionally, Park Seek – which would allow FSD to automatically find a parking spot in a parking lot, and then engage Autopark automatically, was initially a confirmed feature, but is not present in this release.

Finally, Hand Gesture recognition was supposed to come in an update “later in May” – but given that FSD V12.4 has missed previous deadlines – no surprise to people familiar with the “2 week policy” – there is no confirmation yet if that feature has made it into this build. It is very possible that the employee in question may have been referring to V12.5 – which is also expected to bring vehicle-to-fleet communication.

Update 2024.15.5

FSD Supervised 12.4.1
Installed on 0% of fleet
0 Installs today
Last updated: Jun 21, 5:00 am UTC

Expected Wide Release

Given that it just rolled out to employees yesterday, and then to “OG” FSD Beta owners today, we could expect 2024.15.5 – the version that contains V12.4.1 – to hopefully continue rolling out to customers next week. Everyone with an update under 2024.15.5 - so users on 2024.3.252024.8.9, and 2024.14.11 – should be eligible to receive this update. The very few vehicles already on 2024.20 with the Adaptive Headlights functionality will have to wait a bit longer!

Optimus - What We Learned About Tesla's Robotic Future

By Karan Singh
Optimus Gen 2
Optimus Gen 2
Tesla

Optimus was a major point of coverage at the 2024 Tesla Shareholder meeting, and we’ll help break down some of the key points for those interested in Tesla’s future humanoid robots.

What Is It?

Optimus is Tesla’s humanoid robot, built entirely in-house, from the batteries to the motors and actuators in the arms, legs, and hands. Tesla has taken a unique design approach to Optimus and intends to have it replace humans in mundane or risky tasks.

It is a bipedal robot, built around the same aspect as the human body. Optimus was originally unveiled in August 2021 and has since seen several major design iterations. And those aren’t the only ones, Optimus is scheduled to undergo at least one more major design revision this year, as well as one more major design revision for its hands – which will feature 22 degrees of freedom.

In comparison, the human hand has 27 degrees of freedom – Tesla is quite close to replicating the complexity of a hand in its custom-designed hands. Musk mentioned that with the 22 degrees of freedom, Optimus is capable of learning and playing music on a piano – an intricate task that many humans find difficult today.

Best of all, they’ve placed the immense learning prowess of FSD behind its brains – each Optimus unit runs similar hardware and software as Tesla cars . It can also navigate autonomously, using the same object recognition and learning that Tesla’s cars use every day. Optimus learns from watching humans do things or can be taught how to do something by a remote operator. Elon Musk also mentioned that it will eventually be able to watch a video and learn how to do a task.

What Can It Do?

Elon Musk has mentioned that Optimus’ primary goal is to replace humans in certain tasks, especially those that could put a human at risk. This could be anything from being a humanoid companion or caretaker, a construction worker, or even working in factories. Of course, it has a focus on high-precision tasks, owing to its intricately designed hands, and is intended to replace human workers doing everyday precision work that robots today cannot do.

The primary goal is to have Optimus robots begin working in factories, and to this end, two have been deployed to one of Tesla’s factories, and are working on the battery cell assembly lines in a prototype and testing deployment. Today, these two units are moving battery cells off the production line and into shipping containers.

2:1 Robot to Human Ratio

There are some ambitious plans for Optimus – Elon Musk envisions that there will be 2 humanoid robots for every human on the planet in the future. This is alongside an eye-watering build rate of 1 billion humanoid robots a year – of which Tesla intends to build at least 100 million per year or more.

With these numbers, Tesla sees the market cap for Optimus as double that of FSD – approximately $20 trillion, with an expected profit of $1 trillion per year at scale. That’s an expected profit of $10,000 per unit, which will be quite the achievement.

When’s It Coming?

Given the fact that Tesla still has design revisions planned, scale production isn’t starting anytime soon. However, Elon Musk did mention that Tesla currently plans to have approximately 1000 to 2000 Optimus units deployed for internal use in Tesla factories by the end of next year. This limited production run will be the start of Tesla’s larger Optimus deployments and will serve to help them refine the FSD stack that runs Optimus, helping teach it the many tasks it could do in a factory.

Costs

The next big question is what it will cost. Musk has mentioned that it will cost less than a car – with an expected cost of $20,000 USD, once large-scale production kicks off. Just like the Cybertruck, that means initial adopters will be faced with fairly high adoption costs for the initial production runs. Economies of scale will eventually lower the cost as more units are produced.

One of Tesla’s significant challenges will be scaling to reduce these costs. Currently, each unit is hand-built in Tesla’s Optimus labs. Eventually, this will have to scaled up to a proper production line, which will require a factory. Optimus also uses 4680 cells, which means some production of the newer 4680 batteries will be required to produce Optimus.

So perhaps, someday soon, there will be an Optimus knocking on your door, delivering itself to help you take care of your home. Definitely a bright future to look forward to.

A Better Routeplanner 5.0 Launches; Adds EV Charger Ratings Using Rivian Data

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

A Better Routeplanner 5.0 launched yesterday, and there are some pretty awesome features coming to all EV owners courtesy of Rivian. Rivian purchased ABRP last year and has made good on its promises to continue its improvement and ensure it remains open to all EV owners.

Charger Scoring

Rivian recently added a feature that would rate any chargers compatible with Rivian vehicles. The list of chargers includes Rivian Adventure Network (RAN) chargers, Tesla Superchargers and any other compatible third-party chargers. The charger score is automatically calculated based on the station's average top speed and reliability.

With the launch of ABRP 5.0, Rivian is integrating its charger scores directly into the free tier of ABRP so that all EV owners can benefit. ABRP users will now be able to see charger scores, and ABRP will automatically route users to chargers with higher scores if they are available on your route.

Google Automotive

Another cool feature for ABRP is that it will now be available as an app to install and use directly in vehicles that support Google Automotive. Any EV that uses Google Automotive, including Volvo,  Polestar, Ford, and GM will support the in-system experience, which will also provide data for charger scoring and routing.

This will be an excellent way to hold third-party networks accountable, which have commonly suffered from uptime or speed issues.

Tesla’s Implementation

Tesla previously implemented a “Qualified Third-Party Charger” program, that would allow highly-rated third-party chargers that meet a strict set of requirements to be displayed directly in the vehicle. However, this is currently limited to Europe and parts of the Middle East. Within North America, Tesla only displays third-party Tesla destination chargers in addition to Superchargers.

While Tesla doesn’t directly show charger scores, they clearly are tracking charge data, and are providing the cream of the crop of third-party chargers for navigation where the program is available. We’d hope that this implementation of qualified third-party chargers also comes to North America, as NACS is becoming the de facto standard for charging.

If Tesla does expand the display of third-party chargers to other regions, it’ll likely be similar to what we see in Europe today, and won’t be as open as Rivian’s implementation in ABRP.

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