Heading for a new radar on the next Tesla vehicles? This is suggested by a document from the manufacturer addressed to the FCC, Federal Communications Commission, passed on by our colleagues fromElectrek. The leak comes at a difficult time for Tesla, with the safety and accuracy of its advanced driver assistance system, as well as the possibility of full self-driving, coming under intense scrutiny after several serious crashes. .
A driver assistance sensor (ADAS)
For several years, the company has sought to make full use of its autonomous driving system. The manufacturer is proud to achieve this goal solely thanks to its vision system via the cameras located on the car. Elon Musk, the group’s CEO, also assured that a first successful version of 100% autonomous driving would see the light of day before the end of 2022. However, the use of cameras alone is considered by many experts to be insufficient to ensure safety.
Would Tesla have started to hear this criticism? Possible. Thus, the company has recently requested permission to use a radar for its vehicles. In the document, the company plans to open for sale in January 2023. A surprising decision that comes after the removal of radars in 2021 and of ultrasonic sensors at the start of the year.
The new radar, which will soon be approved by the FCC, operates in a frequency band of 76-77 GHz. “Based on the operating frequency and mechanical design of the sensor in Tesla’s filing with the FCC, it appears that this radar is used in ADAS applications”says Steven Hong, vice president and general manager of radar technology for Ambarella Group, which specializes in the production of semiconductors, at TechCrunch. As a reminder, ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) applications designate all the driver assistance tools.
The sensor implanted by Tesla could therefore be used by the central computer to improve the performance of Full Self-Driving.
A high definition sensor?
In June 2021, Elon Musk had told our colleagues about anywayElectrek that it would probably not use a sensor for autonomous driving. “Safety will be higher in pure vision [utilisation des caméras uniquement, NDLR] than in sight with radar. Vision has become so good that the radar actually reduces the signal-to-noise ratio”specified the Tesla boss before adding: “A very high resolution radar would be better than pure vision, but such a radar does not exist.”
Could Tesla have finally found the very high resolution radar brought about by Musk? Industry experts answer in the affirmative. The use of a high definition radar may thus become clearer in the coming weeks. A technological development that could drastically improve the precision and safety of Tesla vehicles’ automatic control system.