Tesla has announced more details on its Tesla Vision update, its camera-based Autopilot system. The company’s website on the weekend removed references to radar and the company has confirmed the change in a new support document.
The company says they will be “continuing the transition to Tesla Vision”, and “beginning with deliveries in May 2021, Model 3 and Model Y vehicles built for the North American market will no longer be equipped with radar.”
Tesla says these vehicles 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.”
Those that ordered a Model 3 or Y before May 2021, but are “matched” with a new vehicle with Tesla Vision will be informed prior to delivery.
Tesla says during this transition, Tesla Vision vehicles will have some features limited or inactive, including the following:
- Autosteer will be limited to a maximum speed of 75 mph and a longer minimum following distance.
- Smart Summon (if equipped) and Emergency Lane Departure Avoidance may be disabled at delivery.
“In the weeks ahead, we’ll start restoring these features via a series of over-the-air software updates. All other available Autopilot and Full Self-Driving features will be active at delivery, depending on order configuration,” explains Tesla.
Will the lack of radar for Autopilot make a difference? According to Tesla hacker @greentheonly, an avid follower of Autopilot, the user told Tesla North the lack of radar would mean a “degraded experience” for customers. “You won’t be able to disable autowipers and highbeams when on Autopilot, too,” said @greentheonly.
As for Model S and Model X, they will continue to be equipped with radar and radar-supported Autopilot. Tesla says these legacy vehicles are excluded for now because the Model 3 and Model Y are “our higher volume vehicles”, allowing for the company to obtain a larger volume of real-world data in a shorter period of time. This will allow the company to faster roll out features based on Tesla Vision.