Tesla is removing ultrasonic sensors from Model 3 and Model Y vehicles, the next step in CEO Elon Musk’s plan is to use only cameras and software to support advanced driver assistance systems and safety features. otherwise active.
Starting this month, all Model 3 and Model Y vehicles made for North America, Europe, the Middle East and Taiwan will no longer include the 12 ultrasonic sensors commonly found on the vehicle’s front and rear bumpers. . Ultrasonic sensors, which measure distance using ultrasonic waves, are commonly used as proximity sensors to assist in anti-collision safety systems, especially in low-speed applications such as parking.
Tesla announced change about 17 months after the company said it would remove radar from its vehicles.
The decision to stay away from radar or sonar is a counterintuitive approach to the rest of the industry, which is adding rather than removing sensors from its vehicles to support ADAS.
Automakers often use a combination of radar and camera — and now even lidar — to provide the sensors needed to deliver ADAS features like adaptive, speed-matched cruise control. of cars with surrounding traffic, as well as lane keeping and automatic lane changes.
Tesla has begun its so-called Tesla Vision plan in 2021, when it removes the radar from Model 3 and Model Y vehicles made in North America, followed by Model S and Model X in 2022. Earlier this year, Tesla expanded that range to include Model Y and Model 3 vehicles sent to customers in Europe and the Middle East.
Tesla says the phase-out of the ultrasonic sensors (or USS) will begin with Model 3 and Model Y vehicles. By 2023, it will include Model S and Model X vehicles.
The company says it’s also rolling out a “vision-based usage network” used in the Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta software — a $15,000 package that enhances Autopilot and non-self-driving — to replace the input generated by the USS. Tesla claims this approach improves Autopilot, giving it longer range visibility and the ability to identify and distinguish different objects.
Tesla said that initially, any vehicle delivered to a customer without the USS will have limited or inoperable features such as parking assist and recall, which allow a person to move their vehicle home. front or rear via the Tesla app. These features will eventually be restored through over-the-air software updates, the company said.