Tesla 2019.40.50.5 was just released with a few additions to the previous update. Most of the features in the original 2019.40.50 update were refined in 2019.40.50.5, save for a few functions and capabilities that warranted a specific mention in Tesla’s Release Notes.
Elon Musk mentioned that a preview for Tesla’s Full Self-Driving would be available for Tesla’s holiday software update a couple of days before Christmas Eve. When 2019.40.50 was released, many people started talking about the new Driving Visualization Improvements, which seemed to be the FSD preview Musk had mentioned in his tweet.
The FSD preview seems to be the main focus of Tesla’s 2019.40.50.5 update. According to Tesla’s Release Notes, the electric car maker rolled out some improvements with its vehicles’ lane speeds, windshield wipers, and stop sign detection, among other things.
Tesla holiday software update has FSD sneak preview, Stardew Valley, Lost Backgammon & a few other things— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 20, 2019
Tesla improved Autopilot’s lane change capabilities in update 2019.40.50.5. The following is Tesla’s initial description of Adjacent Lane Speeds:
“When your vehicle is moving at a significantly faster speed than vehicles in neighboring lanes, Autopilot now automatically reduces your driving speed. This is helpful in heavy traffic situations or when there is a long line of vehicles merging into a different lane or exiting onto an off-ramp. When your vehicle detects that adjacent lane traffic is significantly slower, the lane is highlighted with arrows, and its vehicles are highlighted gray in the driving visualization. This speed adjustment can be temporarily overridden by pressing the accelerator pedal.”
@elonmusk @tesla new autopilot limitations in Europe is making autopilot less safe, 6 out of 10 times auto lane change cancels and swerves between cars left and right due to timeout on middle of the lane, Also disables on bigger turns. HELP US!! 😣🥺😕 https://t.co/TOlbwuvqHw— Kristian (@KrisztianTSzucs) May 22, 2019
Meanwhile, Tesla described its recently-released lane change upgrade as follows:
“Automatic lane changes have been turned to make lane changes with more confidence. When the adjacent lane is detected to be open, automatic lane change will initiate faster and be more assertive.”
While both lane change upgrades are significant, the Automatic Lane Change Improvements could be more beneficial to Tesla owners, particularly those in Europe. Autopilot’s lane-change maneuvers have been challenging to execute in the continent because of strict rules in the region.
In Europe, Autopilot must switch lanes within 5 seconds after the vehicle activates its turn signal. Most of the time, Autopilot can’t execute the switch within the given time constraint, and the Tesla remains in its original lane. With Automatic Lane Change Improvements, Autopilot may be able to switch lanes within the 5-second window.
Automatic Wiper Improvements and Autosteer Stop Sign Warning have been added with Tesla’s 2019.40.50.5 update as well. Both additions will make driving a Tesla vehicle just a tad bit safer.
Based on the Release Notes, Automatic Wiper Improvements make Tesla’s windshield wiper more sensitive to the rain and weather changes. This upgrade was trained by Tesla’s neural network, and any changes drivers make to the setting will be recorded to the fleet’s big brain as well.
“Automatic wipers have been improved to be more likely to activate when it is lightly raining and respond to changes in rain intensity for more environments. The automatic wipers are now employing the first production deep neural network trained with over 1 million images for the detection of water droplets on a windshield and additional weather cutes. If automatic wipers are not performing to your preference, any manual adjustment to wiper speed will be captured to further train and improve the network in future software updates.”
With #Tesla software update 2019.40.50.1, make sure to turn on the full self driving visualization preview to see trash cans, traffic lights, stop signs and more! Thanks @elonmusk & @tesla for the party tricks 😆 🙌🏼 🥳 pic.twitter.com/GDJtTtyJux— Sofiaan Fraval (@Sofiaan) December 24, 2019
One of the features revealed in the FSD preview was the ability of Tesla cars to see stop signs. In the new update, Tesla has put that new capability to good use. With the Autosteer Stop Sign Warning feature, drivers get a signal when they are about to run a stop sign and stop lights as well.
In the previous Tesla update, the automaker introduced a slew of features and capabilities that fit the transition to autonomous driving perfectly. For instance, Voice Command allowed Model 3 drivers to control certain functions with just their voice, similar to Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa. Through Voice Command, Tesla owners could send a message via their media control unit. Tesla drivers could also adjust their side mirrors through Voice Command.
Update 2019.40.50 also came with the FSD preview. With this new update, Tesla seems to be building on top of that preview, refining features that it has already released. Based on the capabilities discussed above, it appears that the electric car maker is set on expediting its Autopilot and FSD improvements, pushing the company closer to Elon Musk’s goal of attaining autonomous driving, even in inner-city streets.