A recent test conducted in North Carolina by a Model 3 owner provided a peek into the capabilities of Tesla’s limited Full Self-Driving beta while navigating an unpaved and partially covered lane. In the test, Tesla’s FSD beta performed well, navigating the unmarked route without any problems, almost like a human driver.
Zeb Hallock, a member of the North Carolina Tesla Owner’s Club whose Model 3 is running FSD version 2020.40.8.11, brought his electric car to a series of hilly backroads for the test. Hallock shared about 10 minutes of his FSD drive, but it was clear that despite the route being hilly, filled with gravel and heavily covered with leaves in some sections, the Model 3 was able to find the optimum drivable space on the roads.
The success of the FSD beta in the Hallock test bodes well for the forthcoming capabilities of the autonomous driving program from Tesla, which is expected to be rolled out in the next few years. After all, Elon Musk considers FSD to be a system that would allow Teslas to maneuver through cities on their own without human interference, and to do so, vehicles would have to learn how to navigate unpaved or only partially visible areas.
Several commentators on Hallock’s video discussed this, some of whom noticed that negotiating snow-covered roads during winter would be suitable for FSD. However, given that in the Tesla owner’s test, the Model 3 was able to find an optimal drivable space, there seems to be a good chance that FSD will also be able to drive in snowy or rainy weather.
In a recent “torture test” performed by EV enthusiast James Locke, who tested the capabilities of his vehicle in a private parking lot that includes multiple parking bays, speed bumps, sharp turns, and awkwardly-parked cars, the capabilities of Tesla’s FSD beta were also seen. Locke’s Tesla was able to navigate the parking lot without any problems, close to Hallock’s Model 3.
As demonstrated by real-world evaluations of the device in operation, Tesla’s FSD beta is not flawless yet. That being said, the performance of the Full Self-Driving suite is nonetheless impressive, especially if one considers the rapid changes that are likely to be introduced in the coming weeks, months, and years. After all, if the limited FSD beta could already traverse an unpaved, unmarked, partly covered lane, then it would be very interesting to see how competent the system would be in the next few years.
Watch Tesla’s FSD beta navigate an unmarked, unpaved, partially covered lane here.
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