Tesla Full Self Driving Version 12.3

Well, we finally got the software update that brings us up to date with Full Self Driving (FSD) and its version 12.3. It comes with lots of anticipation and it has been hyped up as being absolutely amazing and everyone has to have it.

This is supposed to be the cream of FSD and drive like a human and all that. Shall we see if that is the case? We shall! Yes, I am going out in the car with an open mind, but I am also going out feeling very trepidatious.

We are in the car - no guesses who is driving! We set off out of the drive and pull over to the side of the road and put in a destination, somewhere local as I am not ready for going too far. Ones sidekick puts the car into FSD and the car sets off. That is an understatement! It sets off like a rocket, and presumes the road is 35mph, when it is actually 25mph. So straight away, it's turned off and we stop. Back to the autopilot screen to see what can be changed and we cannot find anything. Okay, lets go again but sidekick manually reduces the speed to 25mph and the car behaves and drives along okay. It does go over a sunken storm drain which is slowly crumbling away and thats frustrating as we would avoid that. But, okay, we've only just set off, let's keep going. It makes the next left turn okay but keeps accelerating quickly and then slowing down. No idea what is going on at this point. As we continue to drive it pulls out of junctions okay but over accelerates and then slows down to a speed below the speed limit. The over acceleration is jerky and I find myself continuously lurching forward and backwards. When we turn onto a 40mph road it accelerates (too quickly) to 32mph then creeps up to 37mph and then just sits at that speed. It won't go to 40mph, there are no other cars in front of us. It does very well at the local four way stop which has most drivers confused. It does avoid a squirrel and a cat - thank goodness. But it doesn't slow down for railway crossings which can be awful to go over unless doing 5mph, fortunately this one was okay. On the return journey we had to go around a stationary postal vehicle. The car pulled out, with no indication, but did indicate to pull back in - most odd behaviour and just wrong.

For me, this is not the "Oh my goodness!" everyone has to have version 12.3, "It's amazing" FSD. To me this is still way off being able to be used out in the real world. It's okay but still too many issues for me. I cannot be driven around with all that herky, jerky going on... I feel a bit queasy now!

And then my sidekick wrote this...

Ah, yeah, erm, well... it's still pointless.

There's been a lot said about how amazing 12.3 is: "It's like there's a human driving the car!" "Is the rollout slow because they're driven by Tesla employees remotely?", etc.

There's no doubt that it's an amazing technological feat, I mean, it's the LLM of car driving but... it's still a bit crap.

I can say that it's evolution, even revolution over 11.4.7 which was, just, well, broken and, I could be positive about how much it shows the path to true self driving but, right now, it's not self driving, no it's anxiously letting the car lurch around whilst hoping that it doesn't clip the curb or bounce through the NJ potholes. If you actually enjoy letting a first time driver have a go with your car whilst you anxiously hold the steering wheel, then yeah it's for you. If not, it's still just a gimmick, I mean, amazing tech but, there's no real world application yet.

I hope it's better on the highway than the previous version but, I don't think it's going to be, I believe it's the same highway stack so, randomly changing lanes and turning off the highway... but I've not tried it yet.

In more detail, it drives at 37 in a 40 area, it drives at 50 in 25 area, it accelerates like it's on fire, it brakes late, it can't hold a steady speed, it doesn't understand pot holes, it does slow down for some road obstacles, it didn't indicate to pass a parked mail van, but did indicate right to pull back in, it failed to stop at the destination but it did handle a busy four-way junction very well. It could get you home if you were incapacitated!

As my son observed "If you have to stay alert and hold the steering wheel anyway, what's the point?"

Back to me - We both wrote our thoughts at the same time and as you can see we both felt the same way.

This FSD is most definitely not ready for full time use. Maybe in a few years... we'll see.


You may also like: