TSLAThe interior of a Tesla Model S is shown in autopilot mode in San Francisco, California, U.S., April 7, 2016.Alexandria Sage | Reuters
Tesla announced Tuesday that it is ditching radar in its driver-assistance features, including Autopilot.
In a blog post, the company said its best-selling Model 3 and Model Y vehicles made for customers in the U.S. and Canada starting this month would instead feature a camera-based system to enable Autopilot features such as traffic-adjusted cruise control or automatic lane-keeping.
Radar sensors are relatively expensive, and processing data from them takes significant computing power in a vehicle. Tesla has previously told shareholders that it believes “a vision-only system is ultimately all that is needed for full autonomy” and that it was planning to switch the U.S. market to Tesla Vision. CEO Elon Musk also said in a tweet on March 12 that the company would move to a “pure vision” approach.
Tesla said these will be the first Tesla vehicles to rely on camera vision and neural net processing to deliver “Autopilot, Full-Self Driving and certain active safety features.”
The company also cautioned that Autopilot and FSD systems would not be as useful or as strong during this period of technical adjustments.