Tesla phasing out ultrasonic sensors as it moves toward a camera-only system

Tesla has introduced that it is phasing out ultrasonic sensors (USS) utilized in its EVs to detect short-range obstacles, Electrek has reported. Whereas different automakers use LiDAR, radar and different sensors on high of cameras, Elon Musk’s firm is set to make use of solely cameras in its Tesla Imaginative and prescient driver help system. 

It’ll take away the ultrasonic sensors from Mannequin 3 and Mannequin Y automobiles over the following few months, then remove them in Mannequin S and Mannequin X fashions by 2023. They’re primarily used for parking and short-range collision warnings, Tesla mentioned.

With the modifications, new automobiles not geared up with USS could have some options restricted or disabled, together with Park Help that warns of surrounding objects when touring underneath 5 MPH, together with Autopark, Summon and Sensible Summon. The options will likely be restored by way of over-the-air updates “within the close to future,” as soon as the options carry out simply as effectively with the camera-only system, the corporate mentioned. It believes the modifications won’t have an effect on the crash security rankings of those automobiles.

Final yr, Tesla began phasing out radar sensors in favor of vision-only Autopilot, tweeting on the time that “imaginative and prescient has way more precision [than radar].” And Musk has beforehand advised workers that if people can drive automobiles with binocular imaginative and prescient solely, machines ought to have the ability to as effectively, The New York Instances reported final yr. 

Nevertheless, Tesla’s radar was capable of detect potential accidents “two automobiles forward” that drivers could not even see, in order that seems to be a security profit misplaced. And when radar was discontinued, the corporate had a spate of “phantom braking” accidents the place the system mistakenly calculated a automobile was about to collide with one thing — triggering an NHTSA probe.

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