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James Locke on Tesla's Removal of Ultrasonic Sensors and Radar



Munro & Associates estimate that Tesla will save over $100/car by removing ultrasonic sensors. @SteelClouds @nebusoft and James Locke discuss why they think Tesla removed ultrasonic sensors, and radar as well.

This is a clip from Tesla Motors Club Podcast #24. The full podcast video is available here:


 
I air on the side Tesla knows what they are doing, and will make new technology work better than the status quo. Example, they added BSM via the side/rear cameras to put the visual in the screen.

I have Blind Spot indicators on my 2021 Acura RDX - and hard to detect in sunlight and don't work well when wet or frozen. A old technology that needs a new one to replace it -IMO.
 
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Undecided_2

Member
Supporting Member
Jan 21, 2022
622
447
Helensburgh
The cameras do not work at night in unlit conditions. I deliberately pulled into my driveway with a couple of cms to spare from the left hand side front next to a post and no warnings. Pulled up alongside the fence with no more than 10 cms from the passenger door. No warnings.

The cameras are useless during nighttime when there are no external light sources.

There is no way firmware can be upgraded to compensate for hardware inadequacies. All cameras were obscured according to the warnings on the screen - it was just pitch black. I get the same constant warnings when driving at night time as there are hours of roads with no street lights. Tesla vision can’t cope in these conditions.
 
I air on the side Tesla knows what they are doing, and will make new technology work better than the status quo. Example, they added BSM via the side/rear cameras to put the visual in the screen.

I have Blind Spot indicators on my 2021 Acura RDX - and hard to detect in sunlight and don't work well when wet or frozen. A old technology that needs a new one to replace it -IMO.
Wholeheartedly disagree with you on the blind spot monitors. If you can’t see the light then it’s not designed well. I had BSM in my Audi and there was an easy to see light on the inner surface of the mirror housing that was immediately obvious when you checked your mirrors. Our Subaru uses a similar system.

Tesla’s system, while easy to implement with existing hardware requires the driver to focus their gaze (and attention) in a completely different place. This is especially pronounced when merging to the left, since need to physically turn your head away from where you need to look. Ironically the left side is also where the blind spot is largest.
 

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
12,173
11,204
Visalia, CA
Munro & Associates estimate that Tesla will save over $100/car by removing ultrasonic sensors...

What's the point of introducing first how Tesla can get more profit by ripping consumers off, whether in a small or huge amount?

Taking away functions and hardware (front passenger lumbar controls, mobile connector, USB-data port, radar, USS...) would boost profit, but how does that benefit consumers?
 

thesmokingman

Active Member
Jun 21, 2021
3,954
12,039
Socal
“I view this as a safety item and I don’t appreciate a safety item being taken away from me for something inferior.” I think this summarizes how a lot of people feel. They also discussed ‘supply chain’ claims and whether they are credible or not. Notably, Tesla itself has not actually made those claims.
USS has major flaws like being blind to poles.
 
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Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
12,173
11,204
Visalia, CA
USS has major flaws like being blind to poles.
True. Same with a major flaw of radar that ignores stationary obstacles.

However, switching to vision hasn't helped: Vision still collides with obstacles, and it still can't display on the instrument cluster how many inches far from the parking obstacles the way USS can.
 

thesmokingman

Active Member
Jun 21, 2021
3,954
12,039
Socal
True. Same with a major flaw of radar that ignores stationary obstacles.

However, switching to vision hasn't helped: Vision still collides with obstacles, and it still can't display on the instrument cluster how many inches far from the parking obstacles the way USS can.
Nothing is perfect obviously but that poster was acting like USS is flawless, when it's not. There's plenty of thhreads where ppl backed right into poles cuz they trusted USS. If they were looking with their eyes then it wouldn't have happened.
 
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Resist

Active Member
Mar 24, 2019
1,215
677
California
I've a fan of more sensors just because Tesla's vision only system is still years from being perfect and we shouldn't be beta testers. I don't care that that's how humans see the world, humans are also smart enough to use other sensors to see things they can't. Tesla keeps removing things from their cars just to save on manufacturing costs, it's always about the money. I'd rather the cars didn't have power seats, because it's not difficult to manually adjust a seat, it never was. It uses power and just another thing that can fail.
 

BigNick

Infamous Fat Sweaty Guy
Dec 3, 2017
2,030
2,210
Pennsylvania, USA
The cameras do not work at night in unlit conditions. I deliberately pulled into my driveway with a couple of cms to spare from the left hand side front next to a post and no warnings. Pulled up alongside the fence with no more than 10 cms from the passenger door. No warnings.

The cameras are useless during nighttime when there are no external light sources.

There is no way firmware can be upgraded to compensate for hardware inadequacies. All cameras were obscured according to the warnings on the screen - it was just pitch black. I get the same constant warnings when driving at night time as there are hours of roads with no street lights. Tesla vision can’t cope in these conditions.
Blind spot monitoring that relies on only the visible light spectrum is useless when detecting the asshat who drives around with no lights on in the dark. On an unlit road, the camera "vision obstructed" type warnings come up constantly at night. Radar or Ultrasonics can "see" an object without the need for light.

I see plenty of these rectal headgear people in newer cars which should be equipped with automatic lights - it is as if they turn the auto lights off in the day so they don't burn out their DRLs, then forget to turn the automatic system back on at night.
 

Undecided_2

Member
Supporting Member
Jan 21, 2022
622
447
Helensburgh
Blind spot monitoring that relies on only the visible light spectrum is useless when detecting the asshat who drives around with no lights on in the dark. On an unlit road, the camera "vision obstructed" type warnings come up constantly at night. Radar or Ultrasonics can "see" an object without the need for light.

I see plenty of these rectal headgear people in newer cars which should be equipped with automatic lights - it is as if they turn the auto lights off in the day so they don't burn out their DRLs, then forget to turn the automatic system back on at night.
I was referring to the roads where I live not having street lights. It’s near total blackness without when the moon isn’t out.

The cameras do not cope in these conditions and the auto lights, like the auto wipers at nighttime are useless. I haven’t used the auto light high beam feature in months.
 
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Setting aside driving down empty roads without streetlights: The vehicles have headlights and tail lights to illuminate the field of view at low speed parking maneuvers. The main front cameras can be kept clear by wipers and defogging. The rear of course can easily get full of crud, but maybe there is enough redundancy with the side cameras. As the video points out, the ultrasonics have their own limitations.

Let's just give it some time and see how the initial implementation is.
 
USS has major flaws like being blind to poles.

The sensor said I was 12” from the pole. (There’s even a coke bottle that someone thoughtfully left on the ground to provide a reference scale! 🤪) I didn’t have a tape measure but it’s probably 13-14”
0BAD4BB7-5B78-460F-8B25-024CB54CD0D4.jpeg
 
I air on the side Tesla knows what they are doing, and will make new technology work better than the status quo.
Sonar works even if someone sticks gum on your camera, or rain, or snow, or....

Also every single reliable, good, mission-critical, life-protecting safety mechanism on planet earth comes with redundancy. Sonar + Vision is reassuring because one works when the other doesn't and they cross-check. Single points of failure are bad. And don't tell me vision is good enough as is -- when natural weather conditions knock out my camera, I am not buying the whole "it's just like your eyes" thing. I don't need to scrape ice off my eyes.
 
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2101Guy

Breaker of Ignore Buttons
Jan 6, 2020
4,724
7,254
USA
Sonar works even if someone sticks gum on your camera, or rain, or snow, or....

Also every single reliable, good, mission-critical, life-protecting safety mechanism on planet earth comes with redundancy. Sonar + Vision is reassuring because one works when the other doesn't and they cross-check. Single points of failure are bad. And don't tell me vision is good enough as is -- when natural weather conditions knock out my camera, I am not buying the whole "it's just like your eyes" thing. I don't need to scrape ice off my eyes.
So much THIS.

But saying "vision by itself is better than having redundant systems" sounds better/fools those who dont know better than saying "there are supply chain issues and we dont want it to mess up our sales numbers/money, so we are ditching radar"
 
Sonar works even if someone sticks gum on your camera, or rain, or snow, or....

Also every single reliable, good, mission-critical, life-protecting safety mechanism on planet earth comes with redundancy. Sonar + Vision is reassuring because one works when the other doesn't and they cross-check. Single points of failure are bad. And don't tell me vision is good enough as is -- when natural weather conditions knock out my camera, I am not buying the whole "it's just like your eyes" thing. I don't need to scrape ice off my eyes.
Have you seen the video that showed a guy methodically covering each camera and observing how Tesla reacts? It's impressive. If a camera goes down or is blinded, the other cameras pick up the slack. Cover the B-Piller, and the forward wide-angle camera takes over the function. Cover the wide-angle forward camera and the B-Pillars take over the function.

 
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Setting aside driving down empty roads without streetlights: The vehicles have headlights and tail lights to illuminate the field of view at low speed parking maneuvers. The main front cameras can be kept clear by wipers and defogging. The rear of course can easily get full of crud, but maybe there is enough redundancy with the side cameras. As the video points out, the ultrasonics have their own limitations.

Let's just give it some time and see how the initial implementation is.
They should have a working implementation before removing the sensors, anything less is anti-consumer and purely about the richest man in the world saving cash.
 

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