Tesla Fixes Full Self-Driving Beta Software Issue


Following claims that Tesla’s “Full Self Driving” beta caused some vehicles to experience erroneous forward collision warnings and the automatic emergency braking system stopping cars for no discernable reason, the manufacturer has filed a probable fix with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The recall encompasses 11,700 equipped with FSD beta software version 10.3 that was released on October 23rd. While Tesla says that the vast majority of the vehicles selected to test the new code were already fixed via over-the-air updates, 0.2 percent of the whole still had not been issued a fix as of October 29th. Affected cars include every Tesla model ever made, provided it’s from the 2017 model year or later. 

The automaker has stated that the update introduced a software disconnect between two on-board chips related to its advanced driving suite and impacted several features and how a vehicle’s systems communicate with each other. Tesla claimed that the issue caused the chips to inconsistently detect certain objects, resulting in a scenario where a perceived emergency could force the car to apply the brakes in anticipation of a crash. However the company said it wasn’t aware of any crashes or injuries stemming from the problem.

From the NHTSA report:

On October 23, 2021, Tesla released firmware 2021.36.5.2 over-the-air (OTA), which introduced a software communication disconnect between the two onboard chips; specifically, when the vehicle is waking up from “Sentry Mode” or “Summon Standby Mode,” a mode where one of the chips is in a low-power ‘sleep’ state. This communication disconnect can result in the video neural networks that operate on that chip to run less consistently than expected. The inconsistency can produce negative object velocity detections when other vehicles are present, which in turn can lead to false FCW and AEB events.

Tesla has asserted that practically all of the impacted units have been fixed through subsequent wireless updates. But it’s still planning (and technically obligated) to notify owners of the recall, which commenced yesterday. Owners can also check the software tab of the Tesla or open the mobile app for relevant updates.

Don’t expect any apologies, however. Not even a full day after the FSD beta was launched, Elon Musk indicated that the reported glitches were par for the course when you’re publicly testing safety tech on your own customers.

“Seeing some issues with 10.3, so rolling back to 10.2 temporarily,” Musk tweeted on October 24th, “Please note, this is to be expected with beta software. It is impossible to test all hardware configs in all conditions with internal QA, hence public beta.”

[Image: Virrage Images/Shutterstock]

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