A new report coming out of TMC and CleanTechnica indicates that the updated Model S nose includes both a new triple camera and a noise generating device to warn pedestrians of the car’s presence. TMC member Gerasimental posted a schematic showing where a second triple camera fits into the Model S wiring plan. The new triple cam is thought to enhance the ability of the autonomous driving software to understand its environment in three dimensions.
Though there has been no official announcement from Tesla on the new hardware addition, there may be a link between the extra camera and Elon Musk’s unannounced visit to Mobileye headquarters last month.
The current Model S Autopilot hardware is able to compute the vehicle’s spatial relationship to objects, but that ability depends on the car being in motion. The 2nd camera may make it easier for the software to identify moving pedestrians and other obstacles while the car is stopped.
TMC member wdolson adds this insight: “It looks like the cameras are three different types. One looks like a normal angle camera, the second says narrow vision and I would expect that to be aimed straight ahead to focus on cars in front and maintain distance. The third says it’s a fish eye lens, which is an ultra wide angle lens that picks up around 180 degrees. A fish eye wouldn’t be great at picking up detail, but it could pick up objects moving towards the car from somewhere in the forward region of the car.” Notice that the original main camera is still part of the system.
CleanTechnica reports its mole deep within Tesla says the new front end treatment for the Model S also includes a noise generating mechanism. The federal government has been working on regulations to require such devices for several years but has not promulgated any standards as of yet. Tesla, as usual, is being proactive and charting its own course in this area.
It is believed that all cars equipped with the new nose will have both the extra cameras and the noise generating device.