Tesla FSD (Full Self Driving) 10.X

I received FSD 10.3 the last week of October and have been testing it over the past month. There are features that need improvement. Undoubtedly Tesla is working on this and some of these issues will hopefully be improved shortly, but here is what I’ve noticed:

The Good

  • The car moves over within your lane to make room when passing bicyclists.
  • When at a stop-sign intersection the car will creep forward a bit to make sure it is safe before proceeding into the intersection.
  • Recognizes and slows down for speed bumps.
  • In general it has made a number of safe trips on city streets through my town.
  • On my commute home FSD safely exited a major highway, merged onto a two lane road, and navigated through my neighborhood to my house, without a problem.
Example of FSD successfully navigating city streets in Sacramento. (I’ll upload higher res files soon)

The Bad

  • After stopping at intersections where I plan to make a turn, the car accelerates too quickly into the intersection. The car should start off a bit slower. This would give more time for the car to react safely to pedestrians, bikes, or cars that make unexpected moves.
  • Does not distinguish between green lights for bicycles and green lights or arrow for cars (see image below). FSD started driving into the intersection shown below when the bike light turned green even though the auto light was still red. I had to brake to avoid entering the intersection as bicyclists were crossing.
FSD started driving into this intersection when the bicycle light turned green (see arrow). I braked to avoid hitting anyone.
  • FSD stopped at a cross walk where pedestrians were waiting to cross. That was good. But after those 2 people took their first step to cross the street the car started creeping forward so I had to brake and let the pedestrians cross. You really must pay very close attention.
  • On the highway the car still has difficulty with shadows cast by bridge overpasses and other structures. It can brake unexpectedly on highways at full speed when the system apparently confuses a shadow for vehicles on the highway. Yesterday I got an “Early Collision Warning” when driving under a bridge – there were no cars or obstacles anywhere around me and no reason for the warning. Other days the car has suddenly slowed when driving on busy highways. Again you have to pay close attention.
  • My worst experience was driving through my neighborhood after dusk on a street that is straight and has well-painted center lines and shoulder lines. The steering jerked several times as the car attempted to keep its position in the well-marked lane. That alone was unusual because in general Autopilot has been very good and detecting lanes. But the worst part was when the car jerked toward the center line just as a car was passing in the opposite direction. This was startling and I forced the car to the right to avoid the oncoming car.

At this point, using FSD requires that you pay very, very close attention to what the car is doing because it can make unexpected moves.

The Updates

At this point FSD has its strengths, but has a long ways to go. Updates will keep coming and I’m confident FSD will improve dramatically as a result of the real-world data streaming in from drivers.

I’ve received the 10.5 and 10.8 FSD updates. 10.5 was not much better, but 10.8 seems to have improved on-the-highway performance. I haven’t yet experienced one of those sudden slow-downs when driving at highway speed without any cars or obstructions in my path, which occurred too often with previous versions.

Testing continues. Visibility is an problem. Early morning dew and foggy conditions reduce visibility and most mornings I get a notice that one or more cameras is blocked, probably due to condensation on the lens.

On a related note auto-functions of the car need to improve. Each morning I go outside, unplug, get in the car and put it in drive to head to work. This winter my windshield is usually covered with dew in the morning. And even though I have the wipers set on auto each morning I now have to start them by manually pushing the wiper button on left stalk. See example below: the car is in drive and I’m just sitting there waiting for the wipers to start. To no avail. Note that the wipers clear rain and moisture off the windshield in front of the front facing cameras. So if I can’t see out the windshield, neither can the car.

I can’t even pull out of the driveway before wiping. It goes without saying that Auto functions should detect this immediately and wipe the windshield as soon as the car is put in drive. This is part of the system that autopilot relies on for safe driving. The front facing cameras need a clear windshield just like I do. Summary: essential features of autopilot need to be improved.