Tesla is scrapping radar sensors and turning to cameras to power Autopilot in Model 3 and Model Y cars

·2-min read
esla head Elon Musk arrives to have a look at the construction site of the new Tesla Gigafactory near Berlin on September 03, 2020 near Gruenheide, Germany.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk arrives to have a look at the construction site of the new Tesla Gigafactory near Berlin on September 03, 2020 near Gruenheide, Germany. Maja Hitij/Getty Images
  • Tesla will remove radar sensors for Autopilot in some vehicles from now, it said.

  • Model 3 and Model Y cars delivered from May would use only cameras to power driver-assist features.

  • Tesla said some features, such as Autosteer, may be "temporarily limited or inactive" in the transition.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Tesla announced in a blog post on Tuesday that it was scrapping radar for its driver-assist features, including Autopilot and Full Self-Driving, and would use cameras instead.

Model 3 and Model Y vehicles made in North America from this month would come with cameras to make Autopilot work. These cameras would help Autopilot keep the vehicle in lane and maintain space to other nearby cars, Tesla said.

During the transition, customers may find some Tesla features "temporarily limited or inactive," it said. Autosteer - the automatic steering that keeps Teslas in their lane - will only work up to 75 mph, it said.

The company also said Smart Summon and Emergency Lane Departure Avoidance "may be disabled at delivery." These features will be restored shortly via over-the-air software updates, according to Tesla.

Tesla is using Model 3 and Model Y vehicles for the transition to cameras because they're the company's most popular models.

"Transitioning them to Tesla Vision first allows us to analyze a large volume of real-world data in a short amount of time, which ultimately speeds up the roll-out of features based on Tesla Vision," the electric vehicle maker said.

Model S, Model X, and all vehicles built for markets outside of North America will still be equipped with radar, Tesla said.

CEO Elon Musk tweeted on March 12 that the company was planning to adopt "pure vision - not even using radar." In April, the company wrote in its quarterly update that "a vision-only system is ultimately all that is needed for full autonomy."

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