Tesla is reportedly testing the latest version of its Full Self-Driving (FSD) semi-autonomous driving technology on Australian roads, in addition to a dozen other countries.
Teslascope – a platform that tracks Tesla software updates – posted on X (formerly known as Twitter) that the electric carmaker is testing the ‘V12’ version of its Full Self-Driving technology.
Tesla Full Self-Driving version 12 first launched in the US late last year and saw its ‘beta’ tag dropped.
The system has yet to be rolled out in Australia, where only Autopilot – another Level 2 autonomous driving feature, if a less comprehensive one – is offered.
What if we told you both V12 and ASS was being tested in Australia as we speak? Along with over a dozen other countries.— Teslascope (@teslascope) January 7, 2024
The Tesla FSD Beta first launched to select US owners in October 2020, before being opened in November 2022 to all North American owners who purchased the option.
This feature allows Tesla vehicles to drive autonomously in most driving scenarios. It requires “active driver supervision and do[es] not make the vehicle autonomous” though, according to the Tesla website.
Building on Autopilot, which includes the functionality to suggest and execute lane changes and steer within lanes with adaptive cruise control activated, FSD can identify stop signs and traffic lights and slow and stop the vehicle accordingly.
Tesla is also continuing to work on Autosteer functionality for city streets.
In addition to reportedly testing the latest version of the FSD tech in Australia, Tesla is also testing its so-called Actually Smart Summon (ASS).
This is understood to be the latest development of the company’s Summon feature that allows an owner to have their car navigate to them in a parking lot, for example, using the Tesla app.
Actually Smart Summon is understood to run on the same unified technology stack as FSD. It has yet to be rolled out anywhere, though Teslascope speculates it could be coming as part of a software update late in the first quarter of 2024.
At this stage it’s unclear if the feature will be offered in Australia, though the Summon feature, among others, is available to Australian customers who purchase the Full Self-Driving Capability package for $10,100.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said back in 2019 that by the middle of 2020 the company would “have over a million Tesla cars on the road with full self-driving hardware” that would be so reliable the driver “could go to sleep”.
As recently as February last year, however, Tesla had to roll out an over-the-air update as its FSD Beta “could potentially infringe upon local traffic laws or customs while executing certain driving manoeuvres”.
Mr Musk said in 2022 he didn’t expect regulatory approval of Tesla’s autonomous driving technology until 2023.