Elon Musk has already confirmed to everyone’s surprise that Tesla was working on removing radar and ultrasonic sensors from its vehicles, or stopping using them in those already manufactured, to opt for a Tesla Vision that will use only cameras and artificial intelligence. A plan that a few months ago began with the elimination of the radar, and that a few days ago has continued with the disconnection of the ultrasonic sensors.
These ultrasonic sensors, which emit and listen to frequencies imperceptible to our human ears, were there to detect what was going on.
But last year an event put their limitations on the table and convinced Elon Musk that they had to be finished as soon as possible. This was an accident involving a Tesla with Autopilot activated, which did not prevent a crash in which the driver was killed. An impact where the vehicle was unable to detect a white truck stopped in the middle of the road on a clear day and without any obstruction to vision.
Goodbye to radar, and now to ultrasound
This new policy meant that the radar unit was removed on new models or disabled on existing ones that received an upgrade. But the twelve short-distance ultrasonic sensors continued to be installed. Something that went against the “Tesla Vision” approach but has now been completed as well.
As usual, the changes have begun in the United States. But since the beginning of October Europe has started to receive the update that eliminates the ultrasounds in the Model 3 and Model Y. A movement that in the coming months will extend to the rest of the world and in 2023, will also apply to the Model S and Model X.
According to previous information, the ultrasonic sensor would be replaced by the network based on the Vision system. A networking concept that assumes that for each 3D point in the view zone, the camera images are used to calculate and predict whether the space is occupied. Something that should result in an improvement in general performance, mainly in terms of ghost braking.
It remains to be seen how this affects the performance of functions such as automatic parking or summoned parking. We will also see how the European competition authorities react, which could get their hands on a policy of modifying the characteristics of the product without the permission of its owner. Something that we have already seen in cases as controversial as those of Apple with its iPhone 6, which has earned it multiple lawsuits.