There’s been a lot of talk recently about Tesla transitioning from a car company (albeit a tech-focused one) to an AI company. A big part of that discussion is the supposed launch of a so-called Cybercab that will use basically the same tech as the current “Full Self-Driving” advanced driving assistance suite that’s available on series production Tesla EVs.

The company’s head honcho, Elon Musk, alluded several times that the modern cars in the Tesla fleet will one day be capable of driving themselves around and even make a profit for their owners by acting as robotaxis in their downtime. But how well does today’s FSD system work? Well, let’s see.

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FSD is 8 years old

Tesla's "Full Self-Driving" feature was introduced back in 2016 as an upgrade to the so-called "Autopilot," promising a world where the car would ferry its driver and passengers pretty much anywhere without human intervention. That still hasn't happened yet.

A video posted late last week on YouTube by prominent FSD tester AI DRIVR shows the good and the bad with Tesla’s latest attempt at making its cars potentially capable of self-driving. However, while version 12.4.1 is better in some respects compared to the 12.3 branch, it also needed more interventions from the driver–at least in the case of the Model 3 that was used to test the software.

For starters, the latest version of Tesla’s supervised setup seems incapable of dealing with rare instances where other human drivers cut in front of the vehicle. It also “lacks confidence,” as the tester put it in the video embedded at the top of this page, hesitating to change lanes even though there was more than enough room.

In one instance, the car missed a turn and then tried to make the turn anyway, leading to a disengagement of the system. In several other cases, FSD needed human intervention to pass cars that were partially blocking the lane or to proceed into an intersection because it misinterpreted the traffic lights.

The reviewer goes on to say that the previous version, 12.3, was much more human-like in its reactions, whereas 12.4 seems much more hesitant. Things could improve as software developers find clever ways to deal with more and more situations, but as it stands now, it’s unlikely that a driverless robotaxi would be deployed on the road using the current software.

Also, it’s worth noting that Tesla’s so-called “Full Self-Driving” still needs to be constantly supervised by the person behind the steering wheel and that it’s considered a Level 2 system on the SAE chart, meaning that the driver is responsible for what the car does on the road.

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