Tesla 2021.4.18.12 Software Update: FSD Beta v9.0 [First Look]

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Image: James Locke on YouTube

Tesla’s Full Self-Driving beta V9.0 finally started rolling out to beta testers earlier today at 12 AM PDT, after originally being scheduled for an April launch.

Earlier this week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed on Twitter that FSD beta V9 would launch Saturday, July 10. However, this was not the first time Musk had made such a promise — in fact, Musk has been “announcing” release dates for this beta build that, according to him, will “blow your mind” since as early as March of this year.

However, FSD beta V9 kept seeing delay after delay, due largely in part to the switch to Tesla Vision as well as how big of a step forward V9.0 is compared to V8.x.

Late yesterday, FSD beta tester James Locke (@arctechinc) and others were anticipating the promised release of FSD v9.0 as previously stated by Elon Musk. Some four hours later at just shy of 12 AM, Locke was downloading software update 2021.4.18.12, which contains FSD beta V9.

The update is around 2GB in size, and Musk wasn’t kidding about beta V9 being leaps ahead of anything that came before. FSD beta V9 brings the solely camera-based Tesla Vision Autopilot, the ability to recognize digital speed signs, a significant UI overhaul, massive improvements to Full Self-Driving and its Neural Network, and hordes of smaller improvements.

Check out FSD beta v9 release notes below:

According to Locke’s first impressions of the new beta, the new UI looks and operates much better than previous iterations, acceleration and deceleration movements are much smoother, and the new and improved FSD logic is much more comfortable with turns, resulting in less jerking motions during.

Locke was also able to test FSD beta V9 out on two of his test loops as soon as the update was done installing on his Tesla. They are not the most accurate since they were performed in the dead of night with minimal traffic, but you can watch both test drives below while we wait for more comprehensive ones:

Testing out FSD V9.0 at night, Locke also discovered that FSD now requires high beams to be turned on at night, and they cannot be turned off. Fortunately, they don’t appear to be a nuisance to oncoming drivers.

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