Tesla has switched all vehicles in the Full Self-Driving Beta pool to Pure Vision, completely axing radar from any vehicles within the Beta fleet. Even if a member of the FSD Beta program has radar installed in their vehicle, Tesla’s Full Self-Driving beta program will not utilize it, adopting a stance that CEO Elon Musk has held for some time.
Previously, vehicles with radar capabilities still utilized it for Autopilot. However, when Tesla switched the Model 3 and Model Y to Pure Vision in May 2021, the automaker completely expunged the two mass-market vehicles of radar-based operation, relying only on the vehicle’s eight external cameras. Initial testing showed that vehicles without radar operated more accurately than those with cameras and radar.
As Tesla plans to transition all vehicles to Pure Vision, owners of vehicles that have recently joined the growing fleet of FSD Beta are now seeing that their cars are no longer utilizing radar, if their car has that capability. One owner who joined the Beta group, which expanded by roughly 1,000 users last night with the rollout of Version 10.2, stated that an email from Tesla told them that “Your vehicle is running on Tesla Vision.” Essentially, this means that the car is no longer utilizing the radar devices that previously were operational before the vehicle was added to the Beta fleet.
Teslarati obtained a copy of the email, which told all new FSD Beta members that their cars would no longer use radar.
We will be pushing FSD Beta Version 10.2 (2021.32.25) to your vehicle shortly!
Full Self-Driving is in limited early access Beta and must be used with additional caution. It may do the wrong thing at the worst time, so you must always keep your hands on the wheel and pay extra attention to the road. Do not become complacent. When Full Self-Driving Beta is enabled, your vehicle will make lane changes off highway, select forks to follow your navigation route, navigate around other vehicles and objects, and make left and right turns. Use Full Self-Driving Beta only if you will pay constant attention to the road, and be prepared to act immediately, especially around blind corners, crossing intersections, and in narrow driving situations. Every driver is responsible for remaining alert and active when using Autopilot and must be prepared to take action at any time.
As part of receiving FSD Beta, your vehicle has automatically opted into VIN-associated telemetry sharing with Tesla, including Autopilot usage data, images and/or video. If you wish to be removed from the limited early access FSD Beta please email [email protected].
Your vehicle is running on Tesla Vision! Note that Tesla Vision also includes some temporary limitations, as noted below:
- Follow distance is limited to 2-7.
- Autopilot top speed is 80 mph.
CEO Elon Musk said that the reason for the transition for all Beta vehicles to utilize Pure Vision is because the performance of camera-based operation proved to be exceptionally better than radar and cameras. “Vision became so good that radar actually reduced SNR, so radar was turned off,” Musk said. Additionally, the CEO compared the current strategy of FSD to the basic functions of a human when driving. “Humans drive with eyes & biological neural nets, so makes sense that cameras & silicon neural nets are only way to achieve generalized solution to self-driving,” Musk added.
Vision became so good that radar actually reduced SNR, so radar was turned off.
Humans drive with eyes & biological neural nets, so makes sense that cameras & silicon neural nets are only way to achieve generalized solution to self-driving.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 11, 2021
In the past, Musk has always had plans of switching to camera-based FSD operation. During the company’s Q1 2021 Earnings Call in April, Musk said that radar was good for “making up for some of the shortfalls of vision,” but eventually Tesla would have to figure out how to get away from radar. “When your vision works, it works better than the best human because it’s like having eight cameras, it’s like having eyes in the back of your head, beside your head and has three eyes of different focal distances looking forward. This is — and processing it at a speed that is superhuman. There’s no question in my mind that with a pure vision solution, we can make a car that is dramatically safer than the average person,” Musk stated.