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Tesla release notes detail remedies to address NHTSA Autopilot “recall”

By the time news of Tesla’s Autopilot “recall” was published earlier this week, the company was already in the process of rolling out a free over-the-air software update for the advanced driver-assist system’s alleged safety issues. As per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Safety Recall Report, software version 2023.44.30 would include Autopilot’s required remedies. 

The Autopilot “recall” covers over 2 million vehicles, including legacy vehicles like model year 2012 Model S sedans. As noted by the NHTSA, Tesla’s default safety checks for the affected vehicles’ Autosteer function may prove inadequate, which may result in drivers abusing the system and potentially increasing their chances of meeting an accident on the road. 

As could be seen in the release notes of software version 2023.44.30, which were posted by Tesla software tracking service Not a Tesla App, the changes to Autopilot’s driver checks are quite notable. Following are the pertinent sections of the 2023.44.30 release notes related to Tesla’s prolific 2-million-vehicle “recall.” 

2023.44.30 Release Notes

Over-the-Air (OTA) Recall

In accordance with a recent recall (campaign #23V-838 for US and #2023-657 for Canada), Tesla is making the following improvements to Autosteer:

– Improved visibility of driver monitoring warning alerts on the touchscreen by increasing the text size and moving the notifications to a more prominent position (Model 3 and Model Y only).

– Added option to activate Autopilot features with a single stalk depression, instead of two, to help simplify activation and disengagement.

– Increased the strictness of driver attentiveness requirements when using Autosteer and approaching traffic lights and stops signs off-highway.

– Introduced a Suspension Policy that will restrict Autosteer usage for one week if improper usage is detected. Improper usage is when you, or another driver of your vehicle, receive five “Forced Autopilot Disengagements.”

You are the driver. As the driver, you must be vigilant to the road, keep your hands on the wheel, and be ready to intervene to maintain safety.

Autopilot Suspension

For maximum safety and accountability, use of Autopilot features will be suspended if improper usage is detected. Improper usage is when you, or another driver of your vehicle, receive five ‘Forced Autopilot Disengagements’. A disengagement is when the Autopilot system disengages for the remainder of a trip after the driver receives several audio and visual warnings for inattentiveness. Driver-initiated disengagements do not count as improper usage and are expected from the driver. Keep your hands on the wheel and remain attentive at all times. Use of any hand-held devices while using Autopilot is not allowed.

Autopilot features can only be removed per this suspension method and they will be unavailable for approximately one week.

FSD Beta 11.4.9

-Added option to activate Autopilot with a single stalk depression, instead of two, to help simplify activation and disengagement.

-Introduced a new efficient video module to the vehicle detection, semantics, velocity, and attributes networks that allowed for increased performance at lower latency.This was achieved by creating a multi-layered, hierarchical video module that caches intermediate computations to dramatically reduce the amount of compute that happens at any particular time.

-Improved distant crossing object detections by an additional 6%, and improved the precision of vehicle detection by refreshing old datasets with better autolabeling and introducing the new video module.

-Improved the precision of cut-in vehicle detection by 15%, with additional data and the changes to the video architecture that improve performance and latency.

-Reduced vehicle velocity error by 3%, and reduced vehicle acceleration error by 10%, by improving autolabeled datasets, introducing the new video module, and aligning model training and inference more closely.

-Reduced the latency of the vehicle semantics network by 15% with the new video module architecture, at no cost to performance.

-Reduced the error of pedestrian and bicycle rotation by over 8% by leveraging object kinematics more extensively when jointly optimizing pedestrian and bicycle tracks in autolabeled datasets.

-Improved geometric accuracy of Vision Park Assist predictions by 16%, by leveraging 10x more HW4 data, tripling resolution, and increasing overall stability of measurements.

-Improved path blockage lane change accuracy by 10% due to updates to static object detection networks.

Cabin Camera

The cabin camera above your rearview mirror can now determine driver inattentiveness and provide you with audible alerts, to remind you to keep your eyes on the road when Autopilot is engaged. Camera images do not leave the vehicle itself, which means the system cannot save or transmit information unless you enable data sharing. To change your data settings, tap Controls > Software > Data Sharing on your car’s touchscreen.

The NHTSA document also noted that Tesla Model S, Model 3, Model X, and Model Y vehicles that were produced from midday December 7, 2023 are not covered by the recall. This was because the vehicles were already loaded with 2023.44.30 out of the factory.

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Tesla release notes detail remedies to address NHTSA Autopilot “recall”
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