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Model X Mule has front bumper camera(s)?

Discussion in 'Model X' started by AnxietyRanger, Mar 26, 2015.

  1. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Active Member

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    #1 AnxietyRanger, Mar 26, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2015
    I think we can pretty safely call the presence of at least one front camera a real possibility on this car. Whether or not they would appear on the final model, well, I would say judging by their apparent state of finish and the fact that competition has these cameras, it seems likely. Anything beyond that, what they actually do, is mere speculation at this point.

    But to speculate for a moment, judging from what the competition does, the front camera(s) could be part of a 360 degree birds-eye parking camera system and/or they could allow a separate front corner view for maneuvering in tight spaces. Both have been done e.g. in BMW:

    BMW-surround-view-X5.jpg

    See how that yellow line shows how the front bumper corner camera views in the BMW are oriented compared to the car:

    ergonomics_rearsideview_camera.jpg

    Logically, thinking about what is missing from the "D" compared to the competition, it is the all-around cameras and night vision cameras. Seeing some of these appear on the Model X would seem pretty likely and allow Tesla new software opportunities either immediately or down the road.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Fun thought. Why not. There are enough holes in the rear camo to allow stereo cameras on the rear as well, in theory (and I stress this - absolutely in theory). Why I don't quite believe in that, though, is because there also is a rear center camera. The presence of rear-light side cameras, though, maybe? Or maybe it is just a window for the blinkers.

    Another very wild theory would be the transparent bonnet conceptualized by Land Rover (video and some talk in the other thread Theory: Model X has A pillars (see-through video)?) ). If the images from these corner cameras were overlaid on the windscreen, they could allow seeing "through" the front corners like the bonnet was transparent.

    I have absolutely no faith of seeing this 3D/transparency stuff in Model X, but hey, this is the speculative part. :) Realistically, what I put in the beginning post is what I'd expect of the first iterations.
     
  2. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Active Member

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    Moderators: Feel free to edit a question mark in the thread subject - I can't seem to be able to. Being extra careful here. :)
     
  3. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Active Member

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    Here is the above-shown front corner view camera location on a BMW 7.

    Curiously, there is something in this area in the Model X mule as well, not just in the fog light area (both a dark dot lower and bright dots over both tires) - although this probably is just a parking sensor and some other glint of course.

    bmw_7_camera.jpg

    On the other hand, the Audi surround camera view system uses just a front center and rear center cameras, plus side views (and generated corner views) from mirror cameras only. I gather BMWs front corner cameras are not very common in the industry? Anyone recall other cars with them?
     
  4. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Active Member

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    Here you can see the corner camera (the black dot) on a BMW 7 - looks almost like a parking sensor:

    Bmw-f01-wiki-paultan.org.jpg

    The Model X mule has, aside from the camera-looking element in the front fog light, a similar black dot than the BMW 7 in similar location - however it looks like the side parking sensor to me.

    - - - Updated - - -

    The three "suspicious" spots on the front of the Model X mule:

    model_x_mule_front_bumper.jpg

    Looking at them enlarged, I actually think the dot in the middle could be a camera as well, but they also could parking sensors or remnants of some test setup of course.

    Also, looking left from these in the spy shots, I don't see the "D" radar sensor in the visible lower front grille. It must be somewhere else or perhaps it has a new shape.

    - - - Updated - - -

    The rear also has the intriguing white spot (could be a side parking sensor, test rigging, probably is nothing), but as for the openings in the rear light camo, they seem to be just rear lights and maybe charging lights on the side...

    model_x_mule_rear_corner.jpg

    Although what is intriguing about the latter speculation on charging port and charging lights - the opposite side has the very same cut-outs in the camo:

    Picture 18 - Spied: 2016 Tesla Model X

    Just for symmetry or because there is some functionality on the other side as well?
     
  5. scottf200

    scottf200 Active Member

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    I love your post, man! -- I'd really love those cameras and I would guess for other countries with often tighter spaces (streets, garages, etc) than the USA that it would be very popular. I'm pretty good are parallel parking but would still love these.
     
  6. Johan

    Johan Took a TSLA bear test. Came back negative.

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    Nissan has only front and rear center cameras, with wide angle/fisheye from which they create the surround composite image. I guess you could combine side facing cameras with some other sensor in the same location, anything from LIDAR to ultrasound or whatever, for advanced autodriving features.
     
  7. Newb

    Newb Member

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    #7 Newb, Mar 27, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    Great find!

    Volvo cars have got that feature too - their front/side camera is integrated in the Volvo logo (at least in the XC60) :



    I'd love to see those cameras integrated in the tech packages of Model X, S, 3 !!!
     
  8. CmdrThor

    CmdrThor Member

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    My Nissan LEAF has front and rear cameras plus side cameras on the bottom of the side view mirrors. The four cameras is what creates the all around view image.
     
  9. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Active Member

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    Thank you for the compliments. I'm glad the post has generated some interest.

    That is the solution employed by Audi as well, fisheyes front and back plus camera in each side mirror, that creates front and back views, "fake" corner views and an all-around view.

    BMW seems to be pretty alone in having separate front corner cameras, which are pretty high-quality since they are dedicated. I wonder if Tesla is planning on joining that club, after all they've set the bar pretty high with the quality of the rear-view...

    I have been trying to see/find cameras in the Model X mule mirrors, but I haven't been able to spot any. Anyone else luckier?
     
  10. Johan

    Johan Took a TSLA bear test. Came back negative.

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    Model X Mule has front bumper camera(s)

    Yes you are correct. There are side facing cameras on the LEAF. I was mistaken.

    To make a true 360 image of course there must be some type of side facing camera on each side. If the front and rear cameras were not directly on the bumper, but a bit extended, it might be possible to make a surround composite.
     
  11. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Active Member

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    A new image over at the mule thread shows what is behind the front wheelwell sensor/camera/whatnot - a hole, which suggests indeed there is some kind of a sensor in that space. It may well be just the side parking sensor, though, that is removed here for some work...

    On the other hand, the white spots on top of both wheelwells are gone and judging by the front there was nothing underneath that either. Curiously, this image clearly shows the rear wheelwell sensor too... is that for the falcon wing or a side sensor for parking/autonomous drive?

    model_x_sensors.jpg

    p.s. Looking at the hemline, has someone crashed the mule already? :)
     
  12. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Active Member

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    #12 AnxietyRanger, Apr 29, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2015
    Here are a couple of new edits listing these interesting spots on the infamous white-clad Model X mule. These are not new photos, just pointing out a couple of new places of interest.

    Some notes:

    The white squares over wheelarches are probably nothing, they don't look like production sensors anyway. Perhaps stickers or attachment points for testing gear, or testing gear themselves.

    The lines inside the front "logo strip" look more like attachment points too, than sensors, but thought I'd point them out. Also, something seems to lurk in the far corner of the lower center front vent. It could be just the auto-pilot radar or something else. DRIVE PX concept of course shows frontal center cameras, something in this area isn't impossible if Tesla implements that or something similar.

    The falcon wing door sensors seem fairly obvious, as do the front corner bumper and top B pillar cameras. The front wheel arch sensor is probably just a part of the parking sensor suite, although e.g. 7 Series has a camera there.

    The resolution is quite big so as links:

    (Forum seems to have removed attachments perhaps because they were unlinked to the post. I will try to repost in a message below later.)

    The usual source link - great gallery of mule shots: Picture 1 - Spied: 2016 Tesla Model X
     
  13. Gerasimental

    Gerasimental Member

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    AR, you seem to have missed a more obvious indication of a sensor on the rear wheel arch, which I've highlighted here.
    model_x_sensors.jpg

    Note that in the slightly older pictures we also see this dot as well as one a bit further around to the rear. The ones on the front of the wheel-arch may be to do with falcons, but these ones certainly seem intended for rear-facing 180° view. Also, the ones I've highlighted here seem quite clearly not to just be artefacts of the mule but real parts of the real car.
    Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 19.50.35.png
     
  14. timf

    timf Member

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    Gerasimental,

    Those sensors are in the same locations as the current autopilot system on Model S. They would simply support Model X having the same sensor suite as already exists.
     
  15. Gerasimental

    Gerasimental Member

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    Oh, how embarrassing. Thanks for pointing that out.
    I even googled 'Tesla Model S rear' to see if they were there, but I guess the few pics I looked at were of pre-autopilot versions.
     
  16. Earlian

    Earlian Member

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    That are short range sensors. Again not usefully to avoid a crash from a faster car coming from behind. So for real autopilot, it still needs a bigger radar sensor like the front one in the newer model S.
     
  17. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Active Member

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    Gerasimental:

    Thank you for the added points and images, they are always welcome. It is true that I ignored the rear parking sensors. I assume they are the same as on auto-pilot cars. The reason I high-lighted sensors on the front is because of heavy camo it is harder to say what they are, even though I expect one or some of them to be part of the regular parking suite (side parking sensors are increasingly common due to auto-parking systems anyway). In any case, thank you for posting the images, it is good to note the rear sensors too.

    I have tried looking closely at the rear light fixtures and rear window many times, but haven't seen any evidence of new sensors in the back - beyond the possibility of an upper rear camera beneath the rear window camo (a location DRIVE PX uses to replace the rear mirror). If there is something new back there, it seems well hidden.

    Earlian:

    At least on competing German vehicles and I think auto-pilot Model S too (?), rear radar sensors are often in the corners of the plastic rear bumper and they are outwardly completely hidden. These were first used to avoid side collissions when turning/changing lanes, but later became used in active rear collission assistance systems as well.

    Now, given the DRIVE PX topic, a camera on top of the rear window could look back and add to rear traffic recognition significantly. After all, DRIVE PX is not just about generating images for the driver to see (although it does that too), but also about recongizing what is on the road and what it is doing. Add the radar (front and rear radars) and ultrasonic data (front, side and rear parking sensors) and you have very good image of whats going on around you.

    Finally an out-there speculative point on the suspected spoiler, what if this area will host a rear wiper instead or in addition. A rear wiper might be terrible for aero, so maybe it could go under a spoiler when not used. A rear wiper would solve a part of the camera rear visibility issue. But this is just an out there idea. :)
     
  18. Earlian

    Earlian Member

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    Thanx AR, I see, how it could work, while the upper rear is heavily camouflaged. I really hope for DRIVE PX now and especially the long range rear radar.
     
  19. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Active Member

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    Regarding rear radar, I'm not expecting a rear radar beyond what is already on auto-pilot cars and in luxury Germans. I think they already have fairly good rear range. But adding a new rear camera up there could help make the rear recognition more versatile.

    One thing that speaks "against" the new top rear camera is the camouflage. If they are testing such functionality, shouldn't they leave it visible? Then again, the rear mirror is missing, which speaks for a new top rear camera.

    Maybe they are testing something that doesn't require the rear camera, e.g. active lane assist, so it can remain camoed and also shield the rear seat area of the car (assuming the mule has anywhere near production rear seating, which it may not have).

    Finally, it has to be said, it is highly speculative to say anything about a new auto-pilot in general (let alone DRIVE PX in particular) for Model X launch. We just don't know what will make it to the launch. But given Elon Musk's quotes and the mule tidbits we've seen, it is fairly safe to say Model X at some point - in the near(ish) future - will have improvements in this area, I think.
     
  20. Earlian

    Earlian Member

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    On the autobahn, autopilot is useless without rear radar, because of higher speed differences. If you pushed the indicator to get the autopilot to change the lane, there is a high risk of high speed vehicles coming from behind. That is already an issue in the Model S and with the actual hardware in that, there won't be any OTA what could solve this problem.

    I understood, your thoughts about the sensors might not be in it for now, but I hope Tesla thinks of that issue. Otherwise it will never be a real autopilot. And believe me, IF bmw, Daimler, or Porsche are developing on an autopilot, they will think of that.
     

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