Tesla's Full Self Driving Sucks In The Snow

Technology / Comments

Sometimes, a human eye is simply better.

Self-driving technology is improving at a rapid rate, but many are still asking the question of how close we truly are to fully autonomous driving. According to Tesla, we're pretty close. The EV manufacturing giant's Full Self Driving (which is not really full autonomy) beta software was released in September of 2021 to much excitement. The new software promises Level 2 autonomous driving (instead of the mythical Level 5) and still requires the driver to pay attention to the road and keep their hands on the steering wheel. In November of last year, the new tech caused its first accident, and unfortunately, the news doesn't get any better.

Iowa Tesla Guy/YouTube
Iowa Tesla Guy/YouTube

In a YouTube video posted by Iowa Tesla Guy, we see the Tesla owner and vlogger take his Tesla Model Y out for a spin in the snow to test the FSD Beta version 10.8. Iowa Tesla Guy previously tested his car on the exact same loop, but this time the road is barely recognizable, as it' covered in thick snow. These conditions prove to be too much for Tesla's clever tech to handle, as the software and monitoring cameras can't understand where the road begins and where it ends. To add to the car's frustration, the snow creates low-traction conditions which further upsets the FSD system.

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2020-2022 Tesla Model Y Front View Driving Tesla
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In the video, the car seems unsure of what to do, and either momentarily tries to give control back to the driver, or simply starts veering off the road, which is less than optimal. Many other YouTubers have commented on the video saying that they have experienced the same issue, which begs the question; why hasn't Tesla implemented a failsafe that immediately hands control of the car to the driver in moments where the system doesn't know what to do? The fact that Tesla has knowingly released version 10.8 software even though it clearly doesn't function in snowy conditions could open the company up to a world of legal hurt. Under-promise and over-deliver, not the other way around.

Once again, this proves that Tesla's camera-based system might not be able to match Lidar-based autonomous systems.

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