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Is Tesla using the rear view camera for autopilot?

ratsbew

Active Member
Mar 3, 2012
1,289
957
O'Fallon, IL
Does anyone know if Tesla has integrated the pre-existing rear view camera in the autopilot? It seems like it's an extra sensor that could be used in certain cases.
 

HankLloydRight

No Roads
Supporting Member
Jan 18, 2014
13,034
11,084
Connecticut
I seriously doubt it. The rear view cam is an extreme wide angle lens, and beyond a few inches, it's a very distorted image. It's really only good for parking, or possibly the AP being able to alert you that you're about to be rear-ended. ;)
 

RAW84

Member
Oct 6, 2014
616
315
Boston
I seriously doubt it. The rear view cam is an extreme wide angle lens, and beyond a few inches, it's a very distorted image. It's really only good for parking, or possibly the AP being able to alert you that you're about to be rear-ended. ;)

You don't think it's good for blind spot checking, or rather "pre" blind spot checking?
 

HankLloydRight

No Roads
Supporting Member
Jan 18, 2014
13,034
11,084
Connecticut
You don't think it's good for blind spot checking, or rather "pre" blind spot checking?

When you're driving, watch the rear view cam and you tell me if you can tell when a car is actually in your blind spot. Cars look much further away than they actually are. For anything AP related like blind spot checking, you really need a 3D view of the space around the car.
 

electrish

I Sing the Body Electric
Nov 8, 2014
242
6
Ohio
Using the rear camera would be an excellent way, in my opinion, to overcome the limited range of the ultrasonic sensors.
Maybe I am ignorant, but I would think that the computer system can overcome the distortions of the fish eye perspective.
Mobileye even mentions a rear camera system on their website: Rear Camera Applications - Mobileye
 

RAW84

Member
Oct 6, 2014
616
315
Boston
When you're driving, watch the rear view cam and you tell me if you can tell when a car is actually in your blind spot. Cars look much further away than they actually are. For anything AP related like blind spot checking, you really need a 3D view of the space around the car.

I definitely can tell a car is in my blind spot, in fact that's why I drive with the rear view camera always on. Cars do look further away than they actually are, but that's obvious so you just correct for that.

But the car has blind spot sensors, so it wouldn't need to use the camera to tell that there's a car in the blind spot. I was thinking the camera could be useful to see if a car is coming up fast in the next lane so that it knows to just let him pass before attempting a lane change. If I can adjust my depth perception of the camera based on 'feel' I have to believe a computer can more accurately make those adjustments.
 

electrish

I Sing the Body Electric
Nov 8, 2014
242
6
Ohio
That's exactly what I was thinking: Warning of rapidly approaching vehicles.
This could then be included into the self-driving part of the Autopilot system in order for the car to decide whether it is safe to change lanes.
 

mgboyes

Member
Apr 16, 2014
812
26
United Kingdom
I think what would be nice is to have camera under the side mirrors so that MS can have an all around view. I guess the MX should already have it. :wink:

Model X design studio just opened. It appears that it doesn't have a surround camera function. Only extra "toy" compared to the S is ventilated/cooled seats.
 

W0QR

Member
Feb 4, 2015
184
60
Lincoln, NE
Sure they could..or could have. But probably they're not. Never mind the distortion..easily corrected with a transform algorithm. You should be able to easily detect delta positions..am I going to get hit..or is that car in a bad spot. Are those red lights!? Probably not a useful night time camera (infra red is filtered) but it is high def and you can do a lot with that information. I haven't heard about this..but never say never.
 

Max*

Charging
Apr 8, 2015
6,672
3,719
NoVa
Sure they could..or could have. But probably they're not. Never mind the distortion..easily corrected with a transform algorithm. You should be able to easily detect delta positions..am I going to get hit..or is that car in a bad spot. Are those red lights!? Probably not a useful night time camera (infra red is filtered) but it is high def and you can do a lot with that information. I haven't heard about this..but never say never.

This.
 

MarkS22

Member
Apr 6, 2015
796
1,985
Morris County, NJ
There is no question the rear-view video footage can be used in conjunction with MobileEye software to enhance Autopilot. As mentioned previously, adjusting for fish-eye curvature is trivial. It could most definitely help with lane changes (i.e. fast approaching/overtaking cars), rapidly approaching car warnings, and enhancing the current ultrasonic blind spot detection. It could even be used to help with lane guidance. Basically, as a secondary verification that the car is centered in the lane with a completely different lighting angle. (In the case of faded or hard to see lines, the system might want to check the rear camera to ensure the paths continue to match.)

That said, the question is whether the current processing hardware has the cycles to analyzing the footage. We know the front camera will be used for lane detection and it's already used to read speed limit signs. So, there's video analyzing hardware in the car already. The big unknown is if the rear camera can take advantage of this. If I had to guess, I'd assume the processing power is already being maxed out for the forward facing analysis.
 

HankLloydRight

No Roads
Supporting Member
Jan 18, 2014
13,034
11,084
Connecticut
I retract what I said -- I did some "empirical" testing today, and yes, the rear view can be used for (human) blind spot detection -- but the driver needs to realize that cars in the blind spots in the rear view camera appear to be at least 1.5, if not 2 full car lengths behind the rear end of the Model S, when in fact they are directly in the blind spot.

But in all cases, I could see said "blind spot" cars either in my rear-view or side-view mirrors. So if your mirrors are properly set, you really shouldn't have any blind spots.
 

SteveW25561

Member
Jun 10, 2013
617
120
Vancouver, Canada
The current rear view camera is useless with rain splash on it. Other issues with distortion and wide angle can be compensated for with software (assuming enough horsepower which I doubt is currently installed).
 

Stoneymonster

Active Member
Jan 8, 2013
1,787
1,065
Aptos, Ca
The current rear view camera is useless with rain splash on it. Other issues with distortion and wide angle can be compensated for with software (assuming enough horsepower which I doubt is currently installed).

The MobileEye system probably is capable of doing this in hardware. Their whole vision system is based on a custom hardware vision pipeline. Whether it is a suitable camera for the application (and I'm guessing it is not either due to quality/dynamic range or interconnect incompatibility) is another question.
 

Saghost

Well-Known Member
Oct 9, 2013
8,217
7,010
Delaware
But the car has blind spot sensors, so it wouldn't need to use the camera to tell that there's a car in the blind spot. I was thinking the camera could be useful to see if a car is coming up fast in the next lane so that it knows to just let him pass before attempting a lane change. If I can adjust my depth perception of the camera based on 'feel' I have to believe a computer can more accurately make those adjustments.

I've suggested this made sense a couple times before. So far no evidence has emerged that Tesla is doing anything of the sort - but the current "final" version of Autopilot to date doesn't make its own lane changes without the user signaling for it, so it doesn't really need the ability I suppose.
Walter
 

Max*

Charging
Apr 8, 2015
6,672
3,719
NoVa
Put a piece of tape over the rear camera, engage TACC, and see if you get any warning messages. That would be the easiest way to tell.

It's not that easy.

1. I doubt it's using the rear camera for TACC.
2. If it's using the rear camera for the mystical autopilot and this mystical autopilot will work in rain, they could have a sensor fusion algorithm which uses the camera when the visibility is good (no rain, to make autopilot EVEN better), or doesn't use the camera (rain/snow/etc., makes the autopilot just OK, but still usable).
 

HankLloydRight

No Roads
Supporting Member
Jan 18, 2014
13,034
11,084
Connecticut
Or better yet, anyone with AP and the front camera kit (does anyone have this?) -- The front camera defaults to "on" all the time except when backing up. That would really cause AP to freak out, I'd guess.
 

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