Tuesday, May 18

towards fully autonomous vehicles without radars

Elon Musk recently clarified on Twitter that radars would no longer be needed on Tesla in the future. Having multiple cameras makes the information provided by speed cameras less and less useful.

Updates to the fully autonomous driving option in beta in the US continue, with a version 9.0 highly anticipated by testers. Technoking Elon Musk said this Friday, April 9 that the improvements made would be of great magnitude. The important information revealed can be found at the end of the Tweet: ” Pure vision, no radar« .

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The “secret” information of Tesla’s “fully autonomous driving capability” option // Gamesdone: Greentheonly on Twitter

A future based solely on cameras

Currently, the Tesla rely on multiple sensors to acquire the information necessary for driving aids: 8 cameras, 12 ultrasonic sensors and a radar. The processing of all the signals collected allows the vehicle to orient itself and navigate in a complex environment. Of course, there are still many special cases that are difficult to deal with, and weather hazards sometimes make it difficult for the driving computer to make a decision.

Almost ready with FSD Beta V9.0. Step change improvement is massive, especially for weird corner cases & bad weather. Pure vision, no radar.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 9, 2021

« Fully Autonomous Driving Beta 9.0 is almost ready. The improvements are massive, specifically for the odd outlier and bad weather. Pure vision, no radar »

Going further in the discussion, the boss of Tesla clarified that the company would be able to completely do without radar on vehicles, and thus simplify production lines.

Cameras are more precise than radar according to Elon Musk

The question was posed rhetorically by the CEO: When radar and vision are at odds, which one is to be believed? According to him, the vision is much more precise, so it is more interesting for the future to bet everything on the vision, even if it means adding even more cameras, rather than continuing to use a radar.

Cameras, sensors and radar equipping a Tesla

Cameras, sensors and radar equipping a Tesla

It is true that as a human being behind the wheel, we rely solely on what we see to navigate. This is the point of view shared by Tesla for several years, even if the radar remains used for the moment, in particular to detect a braking by a vehicle located before the one in front of the driver.

Asked about this precise point, Elon Musk replied that with 5 cameras facing forward, it was very likely that at least one of them could detect braking in the distance. It remains to be seen if Tesla will follow through on his boss’s convictions, and will definitely say goodbye to the radar in the years to come.

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