Tesla continues to release incremental over-the-air software updates for its Full Self-Driving (FSD) beta technology. Currently, the company is working on version 11.4, which is supposed to launch soon. CEO Elon Musk notes that it has "so many major improvements," but explains why it's not called version 12.
When Tesla first started allowing owners to test its FSD beta package on public roads, it begin launching new software updates about every two weeks. However, they were often late, and eventually, the updates stopped happening on a regular basis. This isn't to say there haven't been updates, but that they've become increasingly sporadic.
FSD beta version 11 was supposed to be a major turning point, and it was delayed for many months. Tesla eventually launched it relatively recently and has since updated it a few times. The reason it was supposed to be so special was that it marries the Autopilot highway driving tech with FSD beta for city streets, combining them into a single software stack.
There was definitely chatter online about some major improvements when version 11 arrived, but nothing that seemed life-changing. As Elon Musk has said in the past, with every step forward, there are also regressions. The "point" updates are supposed to address those before moving to the next level.
With that said, FSD beta version 12 is in the pipeline, though we're still seeing point updates to 11. Musk recently tweeted that 11.4 is a major improvement, which is something he often tweets about these step updates. However, the tweet reply didn't come until after he replied with the following:
After Musk posted the above reply, the exchange continued:
It seems he wants the world to know that the point update was necessary and is a big improvement. In fact, he's suggesting it has "so many major improvements" that it should really just be called version 12. But why not?
Of course, version 12 is reserved for the time that Tesla's FSD beta package is relying on AI across the board. Wasn't Musk among the folks that called for a temporary retreat from AI?
At any rate, if and when Tesla's Full Self-Driving capability works as it seems Musk has planned, it will use artificial intelligence for "images in," as well as for "steering, braking, & acceleration out."
For those who either aren't fully aware or don't completely understand the concept here, Tesla is using cameras like human eyes. The thought is, if we can drive a car with just two eyes, it should be able to do better on its own with a whole host of eyes. However, those eyes need a brain to analyse and react to what they "see". This is where neural networks and artificial intelligence come in.
Hypothetically, if the car can "see" everything around it and is "smart" enough to identify it and make the right decisions, it could drive much like a human. And, if this whole situation were eventually improved to a very high degree, perhaps Musk believes Tesla will have achieved "full autonomy."
The interesting part is that the vocal CEO previously said Tesla won't need AI for the decision-making, but rather, just the detection and identification. How many times is he going to change his mind?