YouTuber and friend “Tesla Joy” recently went on vacation to Miami Beach, FL, where she got to experience Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) — just before Tesla released the long-awaited version 9 (V9) of FSD. Her vacation and experience took place a few days before the latest version of the software was released. She met up with the South Florida Tesla Owners Club, and Rafael, aka TesLatino, took her back to her hotel — or rather, his Tesla did. Here are some key highlights of Joy’s FSD adventures in Miami.
“I experienced what it was like being driven by a Tesla on city streets with all the traffic and construction going on in Miami Beach, and that experience was mind-blowing.”
Although this wasn’t the highly anticipated FSD version 9, Joy noted that it was already impressive enough for her. “It went all the way to my hotel without any disengagement and without any intervention.”
Joy showed the entire video of her ride to the hotel. Rafael explained that the streets were a little bumpy, unlike California’s. As they approached the intersection, the car started to signal that it was taking a turn. It hesitated for a moment and Joy noted that it was probably due to another car moving near them.
“I just can’t get over that this car is actually completely driving itself on city streets.”
Rafael explained to Joy that it was important to be mindful and attentive. His hands were on the steering wheel and his foot was near the pedal in case he needed to take over. He added that he’s often asked about the graphics on the screen, which he usually just looks at after he’s done when he’s recorded something. He may glance at the screen, but his focus is on the road at all times. He explained that this is less polished than what the general public has, so it’s part of the work — helping Tesla by providing data and testing the software.
Rafael explained, “They basically asked us to do what we’re doing right now. I did not plan a specific route. I’m going about our day. We went out, so now, you know, we’re taking you to your destination. So I just pop in the address and let the car do its thing. If I feel uncomfortable, I will just disengage.”
Joy said, “Just now, back there when the car signaled to come into this lane and now it’s turning and everything, the car did on its own.”
Rafael confirmed that it was the car. “Yes, I’m not even accelerating or anything right now.
“You may have noticed that the Autopilot is at the speed limit. So normally, I drive at five over but when I’m doing drives with people or when I’m in an unfamiliar area, I try to limit the speed to the speed limit so that it’s, you know, it’s less difficult to take over. … You don’t know the area, you want to be able to react quickly.
“But, to my surprise, it hasn’t made too many mistakes even though I haven’t had an update since March and now it’s July. The car is doing pretty decent. At times, it does the wrong thing, but it’s not as frequent as I would expect.
“It’s pretty much like this and sometimes it gets temperamental. Sometimes I wonder if it’s the weather — like, if there are any issues with the cameras or anything like that — but it’s just part of the system just doing its thing. When there’s disengagement or intervention, I don’t even need to disengage. I can just intervene.
“For example, right now I’m not doing it, but if I thought that right now this was going too slow, I could push on the accelerator. That would not disengage, but it’s considered an intervention. So, they get those flags and if I see anything that I really want to call up to their attention, then I push on this little camera icon here on the screen. That sends a snapshot to them.
“Basically, they can tie the information that they get on the data with a small video that they get for — you know, I think it’s a one- or two-minute video when I click on that. There’s a limit of capacity that the car can save onboard. So, basically, they told me that I should try to keep it to about five snapshots per drive before I go home and connect to the Wi-Fi to let the car upload everything. It could actually upload without being on the Wi-Fi, but it takes longer, so sometimes there’s not enough onboard capacity to save it.”
You can watch the full video here.
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