For Autopilot and Full Self-Driving (FSD), Tesla vehicles use cameras, ultrasonic sensors, and radars. In fact, all of the company's vehicles on the road constantly collect information, which is then used to train the entire vehicle fleet using the company's supercomputer. Thus, Tesla's cars are becoming "smarter" and better oriented in various situations.
Tesla has used LiDAR on its vehicles several times over the past few years. Most likely, this is done in order to check results yielded from its standard Tesla cameras, ultrasonic sensors, and radar and, if necessary, to then calibrate their own equipment. These tests took place in 2016, 2017, as well as this year.
The Kilowatts/Twitter yesterday spotted a Model Y with additional LIDAR equipment installed. He managed to film the car, which gave us a better view of the additional sensors.
Just seconds ago in SF! pic.twitter.com/ua6uQgR5I1— The Kilowatts 🚗⚡️ (@klwtts) December 29, 2020
Earlier in the day, another Twitter user @youyouxue also shared photos of Model Y with the optional equipment. It was the same car that was spotted by The Kilowatts.
Funky looking Model Y with imaging equipment mounted atop pic.twitter.com/z2iqFkUVIE— You You Xue (@youyouxue) December 28, 2020
The Model Y was equipped with Luminar Hydra LiDAR equipment. Although this sensor is usually installed on the roof of the car, and is directed forward, the equipment installed on the Model Y contained at least three units that were directed in the back, right, and left directions. The front of the car was not photographed or filmed, so it remains unknown whether the unit was installed there.
Perhaps this technology was used to test Tesla Vision. In any case, using LiDAR to calibrate Tesla's own systems does not mean that the company CEO Elon Musk has changed his attitude towards this technology. Tesla has made incredible strides in autonomous driving technology, and continues to advance in this direction by making its cars increasingly "smarter."
© 2020, Eva Fox. All rights reserved.
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.