Tesla Drops Radar From Model 3, Y EVs In Self-Driving Shift

Tesla Drops Radar From Model 3, Y EVs In Self-Driving Shift

Tesla Inc's TSLA Autopilot and Full Self Driving (FSD) systems currently use radar, eight cameras and 12 ultrasonic sensors to make decisions.

But in April, CEO Elon Musk said the company was abandoning radar to switch to an all-vision system, similar to the way humans drive. This was supposed to come with the FSD Beta program's version nine update, but has not yet been seen.

Now Tesla has updated its website to introduce the all new "Tesla Vision" self-driving system.

With this new system, the Model 3 and Model Y vehicles delivered starting this month will no longer have a radar included with the car, and will only use the cameras to drive.

Refreshed Model S and X vehicles, for which deliveries begin soon, will still have radar included until Tesla determines the vehicles no longer need them. 

With the lack of radar, the vehicles will initially lose some functionality until it is restored via expected future software updates, according to Tesla.

Autosteer will be limited to a maximum speed of 75 mph — the current limit is 90 mph — and a longer minimum following distance.

Smart Summon and Emergency Lane Departure Avoidance may be disabled at delivery.

All new S and X vehicles, along with Teslas built for markets outside of North America, will still have radar.

Benzinga's Take: Tesla says it is doing this as the 3/Y are higher-volume vehicles, and said it will use this volume to collect data and rapidly improve the system.

The strange part is that the FSD Beta program, which is a small group of public testers who agreed to test Tesla's bleeding edge software still aren't using the Tesla Vision update. It almost seems as the radar supply chain has been disrupted, like many other vehicle parts, but Tesla has not commented on that.

Also, it's surprising to hear Tesla cannot analyze data from the fleet already while simply ignoring data from the radar. 

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Photo courtesy of Tesla.

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