A Tesla owner on the early access program got the new Tesla V10 update and released a demonstration of his 40-minute commute on three freeways in Los Angeles, which was achieved without driver intervention.
There are some Autopilot-specific features coming with Tesla V10, like Smart Summon and new Driving Visualization, but CEO Elon Musk has also been promising some general improvements to the Autopilot’s neural net, and owners should see better general Autopilot performance.
A Model 3 owner in Los Angeles got the early beta release of Tesla V10 and used Navigate on Autopilot on his commute with the new release.
He wrote about it:
Today, I achieved in my mind Level 3 autonomy. I was able to get through an on-ramp, three freeways, auto lane changes, HOV to HOV, and exit the off-ramp at my destination. In this journey, the steering wheel, gas pedal, and signal stalk was not touched once! There was a single moment that I needed disengage NOA so that it can maintain the lane on the 110 HOV. That will be an interesting bookmark for your Autopilot’s team neuro network decision logs. The current state of the autopilot, FSD, Autolane change is making my commute SUPERBLY pleasant to endure! =) Many thanks again Tesla!
Here’s the video of his entire commute with some interesting moments (1:50 auto merging on highway — 20:40 HOV to HOV interchange — and a ton of auto lane changes):
As you can see, the driver is using a weight on the steering wheel to trick Tesla’s system into thinking that he is applying pressure to the wheel.
This enables him to avoid getting “apply torque the steering wheel” alerts and keep his hands off the steering wheel.
We don’t recommend doing this. Tesla says to always keep your hands on the steering wheel and always be ready to take control at any time when using Autopilot.
There are also questions about the legality of using such a device to defeat the warning systems. NHTSA shut down a product designed to do that, and they had to relaunch it as a “phone mount”.
However, it is useful to demonstrate the capacity of Autopilot without driver intervention. It doesn’t actually affect Autopilot’s decision-making and instead, it more clearly shows that there’s no driver intervention.
Tesla V10 is supposed to get a push to a wider release in the coming weeks.
This is without a doubt an impressive improvement. There are some really good auto lane changes without confirmation in there and with somewhat heavy traffic.
Autopilot also handled the interchanges fairly well.
However, I’d be careful calling this “level 3” autonomous driving just yet. There’s some debate on the interpretation of level 3, but it is generally accepted that it’s a completely autonomous system with the driver as a backup, ready to take control within a reasonable time if asked to do so by the system.
If not asked, then the driver doesn’t really need to be paying attention.
Therefore, as long as the system asks the driver to pay attention, like it is the case with Autopilot (if you don’t have a weight on the wheel), it can’t really be considered a level 3 autonomous system.
Tesla would have to be OK with removing a lot of the Autopilot nag and telling drivers that they don’t have to pay attention unless asked to.
We are not quite there yet, but we are seeing some encouraging improvements.
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