Tesla’s Full Self-Driving technology splits opinion in many ways. People argue over the hardware it leverages, its cost, and even its name but what matters most is how it actually performs. In one test on snow-covered roads in Edmonton, Canada, it looks like the system has a long way to go.
Tesla somewhat infamously ditched radar sensors last year. Then, recently, it decided that it no longer would use ultrasonic sensors as part of its autonomous driving suite. Instead, Autopilot and Full Self-Driving both lean heavily on camera-based sensors and something Tesla calls its “Vision-Based Occupancy Network”.
A YouTube channel titled ‘Bruce The Model 3’ recently took to the streets after a snowfall to find out how Full Self-Driving Beta would perform. In the sub-six-minute video below we see a number of maneuvers that aren’t optimal for conditions. Just exiting one street and turning onto another one results in wheel spin and the need for intervention.
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Less than halfway through the video the driver has had to disengage the system twice and intervene twice as well. The car drifts closely to the right side of the road much of the time. In addition, it has a tendency to ride on the snowpack instead of in the parts of the roadway already somewhat cleared by other vehicles.
Late in the video, it makes a little progress on that front after the driver engages a lane change. Coming up to a turn it brakes effectively but then completely fails to complete the turn for some unknown reason. “With all this snow it can’t see the lane-ways,” the driver says in reaction. “This has been a pretty brutal trip,” he concludes.
In a follow-up video, he tests the car at slightly higher speeds on wider roads. Similarly to the first test, Full Self-Driving pulls the Model 3 quite close to the median and often drives on the snowpack instead of on the cleared tire tracks. The driver isn’t dismayed though. “I’m sure they’re going to work to fix this… I’m sure there are a ton of FSD testers that are in the snow right now doing this kind of thing,” he says.
It’s worth noting that this car is on FSD 10.69.2.4, which isn’t the latest version (10.69.3), though the newest firmware hasn’t been released to the entire community of FSD Beta testers.
Image Credit: Bruce The Model 3 on YouTube