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Major FSD Beta Build Goes to Tesla Employees, Dramatically Improving Driving Behavior

Most discussions around Tesla's FSD Beta software revolved around the 11.3 version in the past months, but there's a new kid in town. The FSD Beta V11.4 build is rolling out to Tesla employees and will eventually reach customers' vehicles, including the new Model S/X with Hardware 4 computer.
FSD Beta V11.4 roll out to Tesla employees 7 photos
Photo: @chazman via Twitter | Edited
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Despite critics and controversies, Tesla is pressing ahead with its full self-driving software development. The switch to V11 marked a significant re-writing of the software, as Tesla moved to use neural networks for most calculations. The V11 software received mixed reviews, with some claiming it's already perfect while others saying it was the worst software version since early V10 builds. They could've been both true, as we've learned the FSD Beta performs better in areas with more beta-testers thanks to collective learning.

At the end of March, when Tesla released FSD Beta V11.3.3, Elon Musk said that the software "is close," hinting at much faster progress from now on. He also said that "one more round of refinement" was needed, which sparked speculations about what this could mean. Some optimists said this should be V11.3.4, others V11.4, while the realists, myself included, expected V12 at the earliest. Since FSD Beta V11.3.4 didn't offer the promised progress, we can move on to the next target.

FSD Beta V11.4 has just been released to Tesla employees, according to software trackers. The release notes point to important improvements in driving behavior. This sure sounds like a "round of refinement," although it might not be the breakthrough everyone expects. It is evident that the new software version doesn't add new features and instead tries to polish what it could do already.

The new update is also great news to Hardware-4 Tesla Model S and Model X owners who previously could not access FSD Beta. The driver-assistance feature was encapsulated in Tesla 2022.x software, and the cars were shipped with 2023.x software, making it impossible to go to an earlier version. This surprised anyone hoping that Hardware 4 would improve FSD Beta's performance. Luckily, the wait time is over, as the FSD Beta V11.4 comes with the 2023.6.15 software. This should allow new users to join the FSD Beta program, further expanding the user base.

According to the release notes, Tesla improved FSD Beta behavior around pedestrians by recognizing their intentions and predicting their trajectory. The software will also act more smoothly around them. Another area of improvement is turn performance, with the Tesla FSD driving more reliably in turn lanes where there are also parked vehicles. The software better recognizes bus lanes, being able to avoid them or use them as necessary.

The update improved driving behavior in rural areas, with better lane, line, and edge-of-road detection even when no lane markings are visible. This comes with improved lane guidance, with Tesla claiming it should reduce driver interventions by 64 percent. Lane change speed control has also improved, using more or less speed when merging as necessary when switching lanes. This should reduce the situations where the FSD Beta would follow dead-end lanes until too late.

An important update comprises the Tesla Vision Speed network to infer the typical driving speed on a given road. This limits the maximum allowed speed in environments such as parking lots and residential streets. The car will also use road wetness, tire spray from other vehicles, and tire wear estimates to limit speed in inclement weather proportional to the detected road conditions.

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About the author: Cristian Agatie
Cristian Agatie profile photo

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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