Project Highland Tesla Model 3 sightings spark speculation of a bumper camera like the Cybertruck



What happens when a Tesla enthusiast has a pro-level camera in his hand and he bumps into a Tesla prototype that Tesla is trying to hide? Right, some innate new features of the vehicle are revealed.

In the past week plus a few days, there have been multiple sightings of the highly-anticipated Project Highland Tesla Model 3. Tesla owner and enthusiast Colin W. (Twitter) took a few 4K Ultra HD pics of the Project Highland Model 3.

In this candid photo shoot, part of the Highland Model 3’s front bumper lower air intake area was partly revealed (otherwise covered with a custom-designed cover). This front bumper part seemingly has a camera installed (pic below).

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Project Highland Tesla Model 3 apparently has a front bumper camera similar to a Cybertruck.
Project Highland Tesla Model 3 apparently has a front bumper camera similar to a Cybertruck. Credit: Front part of the Model 3 4K image cropped from @Y2KColin’s photo.

Since this photo is taken from the side of the car and as you have noticed, most of the front fascia is hidden by a cover, the chance of the marked object being a camera is 50/50, IMO.

Colin must not have noticed this object while taking the pictures of the Highland Model 3 that he spotted near Tesla’s Engineering HQ in Palo Alto, California. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have been difficult for him to take a close-up photo of this new additional camera.

The front bumper camera was first spotted on an early Tesla Cybertruck prototype that Elon Musk used to drive himself. Later on, it was discovered that this one and additional cameras are part of the Hardware 4.0 (HW4) setup.

The teardown of a Tesla HW4 computer revealed that this new system supports up to 12 cameras (11 + 1 spare). Tesla vehicles with the previous generation HW3 computer were installed with 8 external cameras and 1 cabin camera. Now, Tesla has added additional Autopilot cameras in HW4 and this new bumper camera on the next-gen Tesla Model 3 might be part of it.

A video of a Project Highland Tesla Model 3 was posted on Reddit which I shared on Twitter (now X). I played this video in full-screen mode multiple times on my 24″ monitor and tried to look closely but I was not able to find this bumper camera in any frame (video below).

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Video: Tesla Model 3 Highland spotted on a California highway, video recorded in the side view mirror of the cameraman.

While the frequency of Project Highland sightings has increased over time, Tesla is silent on a new design refresh Model 3 launch officially.

Rumors of the Highland Model 3 getting into production at Giga Shanghai have been circulating since May but they haven’t been proven correct till now. By the looks of the sightings, Tesla still seems to be testing this next-gen Model 3 compact luxury sedan.

Although the electric automaker is trying its best to hide the details of the front and rear fascia of the Highland Telsa Model 3, the front was accidentally revealed in part a few months ago. And the rear has been imagined by artists from the Tesla Community.

Let us know in the comments section below if you see a camera in the front bumper or if it’s just a visual illusion.

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Iqtidar Ali
Iqtidar Ali
Iqtidar has been writing about Tesla, Elon Musk, and EVs for more than 3 years on, 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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