Let’s talk about Elon Musk’s potato livestream of Tesla FSD v12


Elon Musk finally did his promised livestream of a drive on Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta v12. Here’s the video and my impressions.

After three years of FSD being in beta, Tesla CEO Elon Musk says that Tesla’s Full Self-Driving package is about to get out of beta with the version 12 update.

The main difference with the v12 update is expected to be vehicle controls being taken over by neural nets rather than being hardcoded by engineers. The update is still only being tested internally.

Musk has been hyping the update as “mind-blowing” and has talked about livestreaming a demo drive for a few weeks now.

He finally did it on Friday, and it was underwhelming:

The main problem was the quality of the video, both the filming – which wasn’t ideal to get a look at the performance of the update – and the actual video quality of the streaming, which looked like it was filmed in a potato phone from the 2000s.

Neither have anything to do with FSD v12, but it does impair our ability to judge the update.

Another problem is that Musk appears to be operating the phone by hand in the driver’s seat, which is both a driving violation and against Tesla’s own driver manual.

Nonetheless, we were able to see that the update does bring some improvements in vehicle controls, but it’s still nowhere ready for primetime.

It does handle roundabouts pretty well, which has been a problem in previous versions of FSD Beta.

But early in the drive, the car is seen driving in the wrong lane, which Musk noted.

A much bigger problem was at about 19:58 when Musk had to disengage the system as the car tried to drive on a red light after detecting a green light that was for another lane.

The person driving with Musk in the car, which sounded like it could be Ashok Elluswamy, Tesla’s Director of Autopilot Software, said that “this version had a slight regression with traffic lights”.

While the video has already amassed over 10 million views on X, it wasn’t really a success in showing the performance of FSD v12.

Musk quickly said that he would do another drive last weekend, but he didn’t follow through.

Electrek’s Take

I’m not gonna lie, I wasn’t impressed by the video. It certainly didn’t convey the “mind-blowingness” of FSD v12 that Musk claimed.

Now it’s not to say that it won’t work.

Vehicle controls didn’t seem to be FSD Beta’s weakness. Integrating neural nets in vehicle controls should improve the pace of improvements, but we are just not seeing much of that in this video.

We just need to see a lot more… in a lot better video quality.