Tesla has announced it will transition all Model 3 and Model Y vehicles in the European and Middle East markets to the camera-based Pure Vision approach starting this month. The “Tesla Vision” approach is void of radar and only uses the vehicle’s eight exterior cameras to perform semi-autonomous driving functions.
“We are continuing the transition to Tesla Vision, our camera-based Autopilot system,” Tesla wrote on its website. “Beginning with deliveries in April 2022, Model 3 and Model Y vehicles built for the European and Middle Eastern markets will no longer be equipped with radar. Instead, these will be the first Tesla vehicles to rely on camera vision and neural net processing to deliver Autopilot, Full-Self Driving capabilities, and certain active safety features.”
Temporarily, Autosteer features in these regions will be limited to a maximum speed of 80 MPH and a longer following distance. Tesla committed to the same precautions when rolling out Pure Vision in the United States, Mexico, and Canada last year.
In May 2021, Tesla said it would transition all Model 3 and Model Y vehicles in North America to the camera-based approach. It eventually added Model S and Model X vehicles within North America to the Pure Vision approach in February 2022.
“In the weeks ahead, we’ll start restoring these features via a series of over-the-air software updates. All other available Autopilot and Tesla Full Self-Driving features will be active at delivery, depending on order configuration,” the automaker said. According to the company’s FAQ page for the Pure Vision approach, the transition to a camera-only system does not affect safety compliance in the context of European regulations. “Vehicles equipped with Tesla Vision retain the legally mandated crash safety compliance as vehicles equipped with radar.”
Tesla recently opened a new production facility in Germany, which will likely supply Model Y vehicles to the Middle East market. For some time, Tesla’s Gigafactory Shanghai plant in China has been delivering Model 3 and Model Y builds to these regions as Gigafactory Berlin awaited approval from German government officials.
The move to transition to Pure Vision in Europe and the Middle East is just another step in CEO Elon Musk’s quest to use only cameras to complete Tesla’s self-driving project. Musk has talked about the move for some time, stating during the Q1 2021 Earnings Call that humans only use eyes to drive, and cars should be no different.
“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 said.
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