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Tesla S — FSD - Beta 12.3.20

Tesla S 2022 FSD- Beta 12.3.20 — 15 July 2022

This is a follow up to my earlier Tesla S review in which I focused on how fun the car is to drive. I received and have been using FSD-Beta 12.3.20 for over 6 weeks now. My “Safety Score” was 99. My Tesla is even more fun to drive now that I’m no longer worrying about my Safety Score.

My wife also now drives the car whenever she wants and she really enjoys it. My wife’s main car is a sporty BMW with extra power. She really loves her car and how fast it accelerates and can take turns. Now, she concedes, it’s very slow compared to the S. She also likes the idea of not having to buy gas for it.

Despite some obvious issues, I still find it hard to believe how good this FSD-Beta really is. It’s completed several end-to-end drives with no interventions on my part. Then again, sometimes I have to take over several times.

What’s the same —

I still love the yoke. I now find a “normal” wheel to be very clunky. The incredible power — I have yet to really unleash it (no good roads around here) but a simple push on the pedal and the acceleration still pushes all passengers way back. On a highway, I was at 75 mph and the limit was 70 mph. I was in autopilot, in the passing lane and I pushed the accelerator to get by a line of trucks, the S hit 90 mph before I knew it and even though I quickly took my foot off the pedal, I got the red screen of death from Tesla telling me I now had 1 strike for going too fast in autopilot (the limit in FSD Beta is 85 mph, lesson learned, the S is fassssst, I need more patience).

The car is still AMAZINGLY quiet. Ssshhh. I moved my playlists from iTunes to Tidal. The sound quality is incredible even while driving.

Not having to worry about how full my gas tank is or should I fill up now or can it wait another day is even more freeing than I originally thought

What FSD-Beta does well

The basics — stays in lane, keeps track of the speed limit (most of the time), maintains safe distance in traffic, brakes for lights, stop signs, people, bikes, large pets, branches in the road and does left and right turns, navigates to destinations
  • It even takes its turn at 4 way stops — color me amazed.
  • It recognizes people and bikers and gives them priority. I do a lot of road biking and I appreciate when someone pulls wide to pass me.
  • Cool graphics. It shows open car doors, bikes, people, dogs (sometimes a big dog will become a person).
Be aware that:

FSD-Beta does not recognize school zones or school busses as having extra right of ways.
  • It does not react to emergency vehicles any differently than any other cars.
  • It ignores potholes
  • It does not honor "No Right Turn on Red" signs.
  • It does not handle complex lane markings well and will sometimes try to turn into closed or restricted areas.
  • If the car ahead has just pulled out and is going slowly in a residential neighborhood it may try to pass it
  • I still use extreme caution with unprotected left and right turns onto busy cross streets - especially if there is restricted visibility to the left. The car says it is “creeping forward for better visibility” and I believe the cameras do see more than I do; but, even if it doesn’t cross over the lines, it comes so close to the “line” that oncoming cars frequently feel the need to move over.
  • The Tesla tends to move toward the middle of residential and other unlined roads and that can cause oncoming cars to move over. It normally only does this if there are no cars parked on the right side of the road.
  • It does traffic circles. Usually it’s very, very cautious and so frequently goes very slow. However, at other times it just speeds through. I have no idea why.
  • It gets confused with on going road construction, signs, people with signs, lane markings, no lane markings, etc. So, I take over here.
  • Safety wise, if the car is not sure, it stops and either messages you to take over or to push the accelerator. That’s a good thing, except when it stops in the middle of the crossing with cars all around instead of finishing the turn.
You have to understand that the car is vision based and so it may do one thing most of the time and then do something entirely different at the exact same spot for no reason you can see (there are so many parameters to decision making while driving even seemingly simple decisions). I’ve got a couple places I test where the route is straight but the road gets suddenly wide with no markings and there’s another road on the right. I’d say about 60% the car keeps going straight the other times it lurches right and may or may not come back to continue straight. It’s normally, but not always, perfect if it’s following another car.

On long trips the Beta is wonderful. The ride is more relaxing and less tiring. You still need to pay close attention but you are not always moving the yoke or pushing or taking your foot off the “gas” to keep your place in traffic. It will change lanes safely without your intervention if you let it. On the other hand it sometimes waits waaaaay too long to move to the turning lane and ends up slowing way down and then waiting to be let in.

I still haven’t gotten used to the horn placement but I’m working on it. I have yet to purposefully use the horn. However, I have accidentally set it off many times.

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