Tesla CEO Elon Musk mentioned in April that the company is moving towards improving Full Self-Driving (FSD) by achieving pure vision. This would mean that radars could be removed from Tesla vehicles in the future. The company has now updated the powerful visual processing information for Model 3 and Y, increasing the visibility range, which may hint at achieving the stated goals of FSD.
@truth_tesla/Twitter noticed that, on its website, Tesla has updated its description of the equipment for Autopilot and FSD. According to the new information, powerful visual processing can now "see" at up to 250 meters of range, which is a significant increase from 160 meters previously. This update applies only to Model 3 and Y, while at the time of this writing, changes for Model S and X have not yet been made.
𝗕𝗥𝗘𝗔𝗞𝗜𝗡𝗚: Tesla just released an update to their https://t.co/CeyjdTNqEm web configurator today, changing "160m forward protection" to "250m of Powerful Visual Processing" on Model 3/Y models - in line with @elonmusk's earlier announcement of radar removal. pic.twitter.com/XK1vntN84c— 𝗧𝗲𝘀𝗹𝗮 𝗙𝗮𝗰𝘁𝘀 🔋 (@truth_tesla) May 24, 2021
Elon Musk revealed in April that the company is looking to remove sensors from its vehicles and FSD will only rely on pure vision. According to the information provided, this may already be possible in the new FSD Beta V9.0. FSD Beta is not widely available at the moment but may become so already this year, at least in the US.
Guided by the principle of fewer details, fewer problems—which in reality is true —Tesla wants to completely remove radar from its vehicles. In order to avoid unnecessary questions and doubts, Musk explained that in fact, radars make the whole process more difficult, so it is wise to get rid of them. He pointed out that in some situations, the data from the radar and cameras may differ, and then the question arises of what to believe?
Musk explained that vision is much more accurate, which is why it is better to double down on vision than do sensor fusion. "Sensors are a bitstream and cameras have several orders of magnitude more bits/sec than radar (or lidar). Radar must meaningfully increase signal/noise of bitstream to be worth complexity of integrating it. As vision processing gets better, it just leaves radar far behind."
Musk said in a series of tweets on May 12 that the company expects to release a significantly improved version of its FSD technology—V9.0—within the next 2-3 weeks. He explained that the company had to focus on the process of removing radars that were previously required for the function to work, as well as to confirm safety. Musk stressed that the difference between V8 and V9 is gigantic. Changes on the website may hint that the company has begun optimizing the equipment in its cars so that they can use only pure vision as soon as possible.
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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.