Tesla would spend billions on a major smartphone manufacturer

Tesla would have signed a multi-billion contract with Samsung to equip itself with new cameras. They will be valuable for its autonomous driving technology.

Tesla Model 3, for illustration // Source: Unsplash

Samsung is on track to be Tesla’s go-to camera supplier. The two groups would have signed a contract of 3.2 to 4 billion dollars so that the autonomous driving of the American automaker is now based on the new generation cameras manufactured by the Korean giant, explains Electrek.

As a reminder, Tesla uses the cameras on board its vehicles to capture the images that feed its neural networks – networks that in turn perfect the automaker’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) autonomous driving technology. Securing the supply of camera modules is therefore crucial for Tesla, which does not use radars or Lidar sensors for its autonomous driving. Despite a recent patent application filed by Tesla for a new type of radar, the firm is content for the time being to use a suite of eight cameras for its Autopilot.

Better cameras soon on board Tesla?

Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co, the electronic components unit of Samsung Group, has won a multi-billion dollar contract to supply Tesla Inc. with camera modules for most of the US company’s electric vehicles “, reports the Korea Economic Daily, before revealing another important information. “The components that will be supplied this time will be Samsung version 4.0 camera modules with 5 million pixels, which allow views five times clearer than the company’s previous 3.0 modules.“.

Tesla Model Y

As Electrek points out, the camera modules currently used by Tesla would be limited to a resolution of approximately 1.2 Mpx. The new sensors provided by Samsung would therefore be much more efficient. They could significantly improve the quality of the images digested by the firm’s neural networks, which would haveultimatelya likely beneficial effect on Tesla’s self-driving efficiency.

In this case, these new cameras would be used in all Tesla vehicles marketed over the next few years. Among them, the Model 3, Model S, the Model X SUV or the Model Y. The Tesla Semi truck would also be affected, as would the Cybertruck pick-up. Note however that for the latter, Samsung and Tesla would have already signed a contract last year, still for the supply of cameras. Samsung, meanwhile, would begin mass production of its new camera modules next month.

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