Elon Musk Hints at Finalizing Tesla FSD V12 Code, Needs More Training Compute Power

With the FSD Beta V11.4.6 making the rounds as one of the best builds of Tesla's self-driving software, people are already euphoric about the next iteration. Elon Musk confirmed that the V12 is already in the alpha stage, and Tesla is working on the final piece of the FSD AI puzzle: vehicle control.
Tesla is working on the final piece of the Tesla FSD AI puzzle 6 photos
Photo: Tesla
Tesla FSD Beta V11.4.6Tesla FSD Beta V11.4.6Tesla FSD Beta V11.4.6Tesla FSD Beta V11.4.6Tesla pushed two different versions of the FSD Beta at the same time
Elon Musk seems fascinated by Tesla's full self-driving software, which he repeatedly predicted to be complete by year's end. He already said this twice in 2023, which should add more weight to this prediction. Still, people learned that Musk's predictions are to be taken with a grain of salt. What it's true is that Musk appears to devote less time to Twitter and more to Tesla. He confirmed on August 2 that he "was buried in Tesla work all day," and the FSD software was undoubtedly high on his to-do list.

In a new tweet, or whatever it might be called these days, Musk revealed that Tesla is working on "the final piece of the FSD AI puzzle," which apparently is vehicle control. Instead of direct coded instructions, Tesla will rely more on neural networks for vehicle control. More than that, Musk confirmed that Tesla is already training these neural networks. However, the progress is slow because the EV maker is currently "training compute-constrained."

This is interesting, as most talks until now revolved around data gathering and how many miles the Tesla fleet was covering. Musk implied that Tesla now has more data than it can chew and obviously needs more computing power to accelerate development. At the moment, the whole AI industry is constrained because of a shortage of Nvidia GPUs. Tesla also admitted during the second-quarter earnings call that it can't get enough cards, and that's the main reason why Tesla deployed the Dojo supercomputer using processors designed in-house.

The Dojo supercomputer thrilled many Tesla fans as if it was a magic solution to the FSD woes. During the second-quarter earnings call, Elon poured cold water on these hopes, admitting that he would've preferred to have more Nvidia GPUs instead. Dojo is still useful to complement Tesla's Nvidia supercomputer, being optimized for processing large amounts of video images.

Previously, Musk said that V12 of the Tesla FSD software will be end-to-end AI, "from images in, to steering, brakes & acceleration out." What he meant was that the neural networks would be used throughout, from processing the images caught by the car's cameras to controlling the car's movements. In his latest tweet, Musk revealed that switching to neural networks would allow Tesla to drop over 300 thousand lines of C++ control code. This is a massive simplification, which should improve speed and accuracy by an order of magnitude.

More than that, the FSD V12 will be "the thing," dropping the "beta" from its name and becoming commercial software. This shows Musk's confidence that the next software iteration will prove safe enough to be installed by anyone who pays for the FSD capability. Tesla CEO already tested an alpha build of V12 and considered it "mind-blowing," something he also said about previous versions of the FSD Beta.

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About the author: Cristian Agatie
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After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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