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Tesla is now building Model 3 and Model Y vehicles without ultrasonic sensors • londonbusinessblog.com

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Tesla is removing ultrasonic sensors from Model 3 and Model Y vehicles, the next step in CEO Elon Musk’s plan to use only cameras and software to support its advanced driver assistance system and other active safety features.

Starting this month, all Model 3 and Model Y vehicles built for North America, Europe, the Middle East and Taiwan will no longer include the 12 ultrasonic sensors normally found on the front and rear bumpers of their vehicles. to be. Ultrasonic sensors, which measure distance using ultrasonic waves, are generally used as proximity sensors to support anti-collision safety systems, especially in low-speed applications such as parking.

Tesla announced the changes about 17 months after it said it would remove radar from its vehicles.

The decision to eschew radar or ultrasonics is a contrarian approach to the rest of the industry, which adds, not removes, sensors to its vehicles to support ADAS.

Car manufacturers typically use a combination of radar and cameras — and now even lidar — to provide the sensing needed to deliver ADAS features, such as adaptive cruise control, which adapts a car’s speed to the surrounding traffic, as well as lane-keeping and automatic lane changes.

Tesla began its so-called Tesla Vision plan in 2021, when it removed radar from Model 3 and Model Y vehicles made in North America, followed by Model S and Model X in 2022. Earlier this year, Tesla expanded that with Model Y. and Model 3 vehicles shipped to customers in Europe and the Middle East.

Tesla said the removal of ultrasonic sensors (or USS) will begin with Model 3 and Model Y vehicles. In 2023, it will include Model S and Model X vehicles.

The company said it is also launching a “vision-based occupancy network” used in Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta software — the $15,000 package that augments Autopilot and isn’t self-driving — to replace inputs generated by USS. . Tesla claims that this approach improves Autopilot, giving greater range visibility and the ability to identify and distinguish different objects.

Tesla said initially any vehicle delivered to customers without USS will have limited or inactive features, such as parking assist and summons, which allow a person to move their vehicle forward or backward through the Tesla app. Those features will eventually be restored via over-the-air software updates, the company said.

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