Tesla FSD Beta V11.4.4 Said To Improve Handling on Narrow Unmarked Roads

Tesla started rolling out the FSD Beta V11.4.4 to a limited group of beta testers, as Musk promised on Wednesday. Based on the release notes shared on social media, this build should fix the dangerous bug that made the car swerve into oncoming vehicles on narrow unmarked roads.
Tesla FSD Beta V11.4.4 improves handling of oncoming cars 7 photos
Photo: Tesla | Edited
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After being paused to address NHTSA's concerns earlier this year, Tesla FSD Beta development is advancing at a neck-breaking pace. Tesla aims to release a new build almost every week, which is no small feat considering that it maintains several software branches simultaneously. Although most vehicles are on the V11.3.6 build, thanks to being included in the 2023.12 software updates, a group of beta testers already got to try the FSD Beta V11.4.

The latest iteration of this build is V11.4.4, which just started the first wave of installs. As expected, software trackers recorded a pause in the V11.4.3 deployment, which is normal. This is an interesting indicator to watch because resuming the V11.4.3 rollout means the V11.4.4 still needs polishing, leading to more delays. This better not be the case because the latest build addresses a dangerous bug introduced with earlier builds.

As reported by Chuck Cook and other FSD Beta testers, "ego" (the name chosen by Tesla for the FSD "personality") would try to steer the car onto oncoming vehicles when driving on a narrow unmarked road. As you imagine, this scares the other drivers and the beta testers alike and is hardly the intended behavior. That's why the release notes of the V11.4.4 got Chuck Cook excited, as it promised "improved handling of oncoming cars on narrow unmarked roads."

To achieve this, Tesla says that FSD Beta improves the prediction of an oncoming car's trajectory and leaves enough room for it to pass before re-centering. Previously, the FSD Beta would try to drive in the center and steer left when the oncoming vehicle approached. The FSD Beta V11.4.2 showed improvements when driving on narrow with a center line but struggled with narrow unmarked roads.

The V11.4.4 release notes show that this is no point release from 11.4.3, including notable improvements. These concern short-deadline lane changes, consistency when controlling for static objects, and how it handles other vehicles and vulnerable road users (VRU). With this release, Tesla improved the Occupancy Flow prediction from the Occupancy Network for arbitrary moving obstacles by 8%. It also expanded the usage of the new object ground truth autolabeler for the NonVRU detection model, improving distant vehicle recall and geometry precision for semi-trucks, trailers, and exotic vehicles.

Tesla claims that the FSD Beta also improved the detection of pedestrians' intentions near crosswalks by leveraging more kinematic data to enhance the association between crosswalks and VRUs. Tesla also updated VRUs' kinematic properties by utilizing available semantic information to classify their probability of intersecting the car's path more accurately. Another important change improves Automatic Emergency Braking in response to cut-in vehicles and vehicles behind the car while reversing.

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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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