Autonomous driving: Tesla will probably use radar again after all


Tesla will in all probability use radar again in future vehicles, after the strategy has so far been to implement “autonomous” driving exclusively using cameras. However, Elon Musk also said last year that high-resolution radar sensors could be useful.

Tesla currently only uses cameras

< p class="p text-width">In the vehicles currently being produced by Tesla, only cameras are used for the assistance systems, and the “Autopilot” and Full Self-Driving (FSD) according to Level 2+, which anyone in North America can activate recently, is only activated via the “Tesla Vision” baptized system handled. Tesla had banned radar from vehicles last year and ultrasonic sensors have no longer been installed by Tesla since the beginning of this year. Elon Musk is also notorious for a statement made in April 2019 that all other car manufacturers will give up lidar again in the future. “Anyone relying on lidar is doomed,” Musk said at the time.

FCC documents signal return of radar

At least radar could soon be back in Tesla vehicles, according to documents from the FCC, the US regulatory authority for communications devices. There was already a first indication of the return of radar in June of this year, when a sketch of the component was available from the FCC. The component shown was clearly marked “Radar”.

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Further details have so far been subject to secrecy as part of the FCC certification, but this usually expires after six months. However, according to a letter to the FCC published on Twitter, Tesla would like to extend the embargo period for manuals and photos until February 7, 2023 at short notice because the corresponding product will not be marketed until mid-January, so that an early release could harm the company. The new module is said to be an HD radar sensor, which is expected to be used in future Tesla models.

Elon Musk sees advantage for HD radar

That Tesla is one compared to current solutions Elon Musk had already indicated last summer that the advanced radar generation with higher resolution is not fundamentally closed. The CEO explained to Electrek that only “Tesla Vision” offers higher security than Vision plus radar, but that a very high-resolution radar in combination with Vision is better.

A very high resolution radar would be better than pure vision, but such a radar does not exist. I mean vision with high res radar would be better than pure vision.

Elon Musk

The Model 3 is said to be available under the code name “Highland” for the second half of the year 2023 and could therefore use the new sensor technology for the first time.