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Tesla replaces forward radar with vision-based Autopilot/FSD on its website

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Silicon Valley-based automaker Tesla, Inc. (TSLA) has updated its website yesterday with a subtle change that Tesla enthusiasts noticed. Now the animated representation and specifications of the Autopilot and Full Self-Driving (FSD) show the vision-based capabilities of the system and the mention of the forward-facing radar has been removed.

Almost a month ago, CEO Elon Musk said that with the release of FSD Beta V9.0 software, Tesla is moving towards a pure vision-based system and getting rid of the radar. He even said that the radar hardware will completely be removed from the next production cars.

With this important update to the website, it seems that the radar and related hardware has already been removed from the cars currently in production at Tesla Fremont and Giga Shanghai.

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Tesla’s website for Model S, 3, X, and Y’s Autopilot section now mentions “250 meters of powerful vision processing” instead of the previous “160 meters forward-facing radar”.

Tesla replaces forward-facing radar with the a pure vision-based Autopilot/FSD system. Source: Screengrab from Tesla.com after the recent website update.
Screenshot of Tesla.com before the recent vision-based Autopilot/FSD system update.

The existing Tesla owners of Model 3, Y and S, X with the HW2.5+ will not need to upgrade any hardware to get this new capability. Three forward-looking cameras are already installed in each of these vehicles. The narrow forward camera has a range of 250 meters. The next major FSD Beta software update V9.0 will just disable the radar-based input to the onboard supercomputer.

FSD Beta V9.0 release is getting delayed for several weeks now as Tesla software teams are working hard to roll out an exponentially better update. Tesla’s confidence in its pure vision-based FSD decision-making shows from this public update of the website from the automaker. This update also is a precursor that the FSD Beta V9.0 release is somewhat closer than expected.

The removal of the forward-facing radar from Tesla cars will reduce production complexity, cut down manufacturing costs, and liberate the company from at least one major part supplier.

The absence of radar will also lower the FSD software development complexity for the Tesla AI and software development teams.

Update:

Elon Musk has posted an update on this via Twitter, he said:

Pure vision Autopilot is now rolling out in North America. There will be an update of this production release in 2 weeks, then FSD beta V9.0 (also pure vision) a week later. FSD subscription will be enabled around the same time.

Elon Musk via Twitter.

Looks like it will be at least 3 weeks before we can see the FSD Beta V9.0 rolling out to the beta testers. Several of these testers are also YouTubers, so there will be a lot of video demos coming our way — fingers crossed.

Hat tip: @Tesla_Adri / Twitter

Related: How AI and Computer Vision works

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By Iqtidar Ali

Iqtidar has been writing about Tesla, Elon Musk, and EVs for more than 3 years on XAutoWorld.com, many of his articles have been republished on CleanTechnica and InsideEVs, maintains a healthy relationship with the Tesla community across the Social Media sphere. You can reach him on Twitter @IqtidarAlii

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