Tesla plans to return to radar tech in its electric cars next month

Elon Musk-run Tesla, which always thought to reach full autonomy via its “camera vision only” approach, is now planning to return to Lidar sensor-like approach from January next year.

According to Electrek, Tesla has told the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that it plans to market a new radar starting next month, amid scrutiny over rising accidents involving its standard advanced driver assistance system known as Autopilot.

The FCC had granted a “confidential treatment to Tesla in order not to release the details of the new radar”.

Since 2016, Tesla claimed that all its vehicles produced going forward have “all the needed hardware” to become self-driving with future software updates.

However, it has yet to achieve self-driving capability and its Full Self-Driving (FSD) software is still in beta, amid controversies around it.

Tesla began removing radar from its vehicles in May last year.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk told Electrek last year that the probability of safety will be higher with pure vision than vision+radar, not lower.

However, the CEO also added that Tesla might still use radar if it had a “very high-resolution radar.

“A very high resolution radar would be better than pure vision, but such a radar does not exist. I mean vision with high-res radar would be better than pure vision,” he had said.

In October, Tesla removed its 12 ultrasonic sensors from Model 3 and Model Y vehicles built for North America, Europe, the Middle East and Taiwan.

It now appears radar is back at Tesla but it is not yet clear which cars will get the new radar.

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