Apparently, Tesla wants to tweak the hardware of its cars a bit. In particular, the focus is on the camera technology of the electric car manufacturer’s vehicles, which is otherwise considered the reference. This is now to be supplemented by radar technology again. Someone wants to finally put their autopilot into practice?
Tesla registers radar technology with FCC
The automaker itself has not yet publicly commented on its plans. Rather, the switch in technology comes from a registration with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC). There, Tesla stated that it wants to rely on radar sensors from the beginning of 2023. However, this is not really an upgrade. Rather, it is a return to the old familiar. After all, the U.S. carmaker only relied on pure camera technology for the last year and a half. Since then, the company has referred to this as Pure Vision. Tesla CEO Elon Musk himself announced in the spring of 2021 that the company no longer wanted to use radar technology. This is likely to have resulted primarily in lower costs. In the competition to build the perfect self-driving car, however, pure camera recognition does not seem to be effective. That’s why the company is now probably switching back to radar as a supplement.
- Have you read this? Tesla plans software update for 435,000 vehicles
When is the autonomous Tesla coming?
Just a few years ago, Tesla was considered the flagship manufacturer when it comes to building self-driving cars. In the meantime, however, the competition has not only caught up. Automakers such as Mercedes Benz are even on a par with the Americans and in some disciplines even ahead. Last week, for example, the long-established Stuttgart-based company secured permission from the Federal Motor Transport Authority to integrate autonomous parking. Tesla, on the other hand, hardly follows up its words with deeds. Back in 2016, there was talk that all models manufactured in the future would be able to drive autonomously if only they received the necessary software update. However, this wishful thinking of many Tesla drivers now seems to have been put a stop to.
Anyone driving a somewhat older vehicle from Tesla can only look forward to autonomous driving level 2, even after the current on-board computer has been newly installed. This can regulate the distance, offers a lane-keeping assistant and drives straight ahead independently. That may sound like a lot, but it is still a long way from self-driving cars. But compared to the Teslas built in 2021 and 2022, the older models had a decisive advantage. For example, they offered radar sensors and ultrasonic technology. These helped with parking in particular and are also likely to have ensured better orientation of the vehicle in poor lighting conditions.
Is an improved radar coming into play?
For Tesla, it seems to have been clear for quite some time that doing without the radar sensors was a big mistake. After all, the company probably already reported to the FCC at the beginning of this year that it wanted to go back to radar. According to a report from Electrek, the carmaker even demanded a non-disclosure agreement. But since the FCC apparently only agreed to the agreement for a period of six months, it was probably only a matter of time before the problem would come to light. Now, of course, the question arises as to why Tesla decided to do without radar technology in the first place.
Was the focus really only on savings? If Elon Musk’s statements are to be believed, then not. From his point of view, the camera technology is superior to classic radar technology in the earlier Tesla models. This is mainly due to the better image processing that they offer. However, a lot has changed in this area over time. Even radars are now equipped with a higher resolution. So, is it possible that a new radar will be installed? According to Electrek, Tesla is currently working on a technology with a range that is twice as high.