Tesla is replacing ultrasonic sensors (USS) with Tesla Vision by removing them from its Model 3 and Model Y vehicles. Over the past year, Tesla removed radar from its vehicles as it shifted to Tesla Vision, its camera-based Autopilot system. Tesla explained that the change coincided with the launch of its vision-based occupancy network that’s currently used in Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta allowing it to replace inputs generated by the software.
“With today’s software, this approach gives Autopilot high-definition spatial positioning, longer range visibility, and ability to identify and differentiate between objects. As with many Tesla features, our occupancy network will continue to improve rapidly over time,” Tesla said on its website.
During the transition, Tesla Vision vehicles that don’t have USS will be delivered with some features that are either temporarily limited or inactive. This will only be for a short period of time as Tesla transitions its vehicles. The features that will be limited or inactive are:
- Park Assist: alerts you of surrounding objects when the vehicle is traveling <5 mph.
- Autopark: automatically maneuvers into parallel or perpendicular parking spaces.
- Summon: manually moves your vehicle forward or in reverse via the Tesla app.
- Smart Summon: navigates your vehicle to your location or location of your choice via the Tesla app.
Tesla will restore the features once they achieve performance parity through a series of over-the-air software updates. Tesla also expressed confidence in this strategy for the future of Autopilot and safety for its customers.
Tesla owners wondering whether or not their vehicle has ultrasonic sensors can look on the front and rear bumpers to see if the 12 sensors are there. Tesla also said that it will continue this rollout with the Model 3 and the Model Y globally over the coming month. Then it will follow up with the Model S and Model X in 2023.
In August, Tesla Vision began rolling out to older vehicles with radar through OTA 2022.20.9 just after Tesla FSD Beta 10.69 had been released.
Note: Johnna is a Tesla shareholder and supports its mission.
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