It’s almost time for a very important update to drop for all Tesla EV owners – Version 9.0 of the Tesla Software that is the brain behind the Model 3, the Model X and Model S. But per recent leaks, it appears that the release may be delayed.
Dev builds are still coming, and the latest one shows updates to a feature called ‘Drive On Nav’, which is basically something that suggests lane changes based on your current position on the highway and your destination point. The update allows Autopilot to take over these lane changes rather than make the driver tug on the Autopilot stalk.
One significant change is in the UI. The Next Actions sections on the map will reportedly be moved closer to the driver, which means it will appear on the left side of the map. Also, Model S and Model X will be getting UI facelifts to bring them more in line with that of the Model 3.
One rumored feature that might not be coming is the dashcam feature, since there’s been no mention of it in any of the recent development builds. The Drive on Nav seems to be the biggest thing in this new release, which promised to start bringing FSD features to the mix.
To be clear, FSD and Autopilot, even EAP, are two different feature sets. While Autopilot primarily consists of ADAS (advanced driver assistance system) components, FSD will bring true hands-off autonomy to the Tesla EV experience. Tesla is already testing its in-house AI chip that will presumably make its appearance with Autopilot hardware 3.0 that’s expected in a few months. Once the hardware is on-board, Tesla will be able to deploy the AI software components that will bring autonomous driving capabilities.
There’s a long way to go before that can happen, but we were at least hoping to see some key elements of FSD start to make their appearance with Tesla Software Version 9.0. What’s possible is that some intelligent features that are available now or introduced in v9.0 will later be grouped with FSD capabilities. But for now, we’ll have to be satisfied with the incremental improvements in the latest version.
As for a firm release date for Tesla Software Version 9.0, that seems elusive now that even the beta versions haven’t been rolled out to testers yet. It will take a few weeks after beta testing for a much wider rollout via a major OTA update.
To give you an idea of just how hard it is to “train” intelligent systems to deal with everyday driving, here’s a list of challenges faced by the team at Waymo, the Google spinoff that is possibly the closest to achieving full autonomous capability: