Earlier this year, Tesla replaced radar on its vehicles with ‘Pure Vision’ cameras, shifting their Autopilot technology’s reliance on data from radar and cameras to data from cameras exclusively. Tesla has also started using in-cabin cameras for driver monitoring. The change applied to Model 3 and Model Y, but Model S and Model X will still use radar for now.
During the test, each vehicle takes two runs at a large box obstructing the road, going around 40 km/h with Autopilot enabled.
In its first run, the Model 3 with radar and cameras detected the box as a garbage bin in the middle of the road but was going to hit it, resulting in the driver intervening.
The second time around, the Model 3 detected the box as an actual vehicle and provided the driver with a Forward Collision Warning, but Autopilot still made no effort to stop. The driver consequently took over and braked to a halt.
In its first run, the radar-less Pure Vision Model Y made no effort to stop for the box, and the driver hit the brakes. In the second test, the driver did not intervene, and the Model Y proceeded to crash into the box. The Model Y did not provide a Forward Collision Warning in either instance.
This test wasn’t meant to be scientific, not in the least — only provide a rudimentary comparison between a radar-less ‘Pure Vision’ Tesla and one with radar.
A similar test between a Pure Vision Model Y and a Model X with radar back in May provided results along the same lines, but also showed that Pure Vision-powered Autopilot detects and stops for pedestrian-like objects in the road, even if they’re stationary and made out of inorganic material.
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