Tesla’s removal of ultrasonic sensors has been teased since Cybertruck unveiling

Credit: @brandonee916o/Twitter

Tesla recently made headlines after the company announced that it would be removing ultrasonic sensors (USS) on its vehicles. With the removal of ultrasonic sensors, Tesla’s electric cars will continue their transition to a full vision-based system. 

As noted by Tesla in its announcement, it will be pretty easy to see if a vehicle is still equipped with ultrasonics. One simply has to check if the sensors are present on a Tesla’s front and rear bumpers, since that’s where the sensors are placed. 

But as observed by longtime Tesla owner and veteran FSD Beta tester @brandonee916, signs that Tesla is about to remove ultrasonic sensors on its vehicles have been around for some time now. In fact, prototypes of the Cybertruck, the first vehicle that will be using Tesla’s Hardware 4.0 computer, do not seem to have any ultrasonic sensors at all. 

This could be seen in images of the Cybertruck that have been shared online, and this also seems to be true for both the original hulking prototype unveiled in late 2019 and the newer prototypes that have been sighted in multiple events this year. The bumpers of both vehicles do not seem to be equipped with ultrasonics, and both also have a camera on their bumper. 

Tesla Cybertruck on stage at unveiling event in Los Angeles. Nov. 21, 2019 (Photo: Teslarati)

While some may argue that Tesla could have just equipped the production Cybertruck with ultrasonic sensors later on, this would have been quite a challenging endeavor considering the pickup truck’s thick steel exoskeleton. With this in mind, or based on the Cybertruck prototypes at least, it appears that the all-electric truck was not designed with ultrasonic sensors in mind at all. 

Interestingly enough, Tesla does seem to be working very hard on the Cybertruck’s camera setup. In late August, a rather beat-up but updated Cybertruck prototype was spotted being unloaded from a truck. The vehicle in question was equipped with what appeared to be camera calibration equipment, suggesting that Tesla is finalizing the all-electric pickup’s camera setup. 

Don’t hesitate to contact us with news tips. Just send a message to simon@teslarati.com to give us a heads up.

Simon Alvarez: Simon is a reporter with a passion for electric cars and clean energy. Fascinated by the world envisioned by Elon Musk, he hopes to make it to Mars (at least as a tourist) someday.
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