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Model Y Thermal Image - Ultrasonic Sensors

acarney

Active Member
Jul 9, 2019
2,440
1,506
Richland, WA
Another variable before declaring there's no heating of sensors would be to measure these after a half-hour drive in subfreezing temps.

Or look at any of the pictures showing a dusting of snow covering the whole front of the car after a drive. If they’re heated, it’s not powerful enough to melt even a quarter inch of snow/frost/ice buildup while driving....
 

acarney

Active Member
Jul 9, 2019
2,440
1,506
Richland, WA
This morning I tried this. My car had been sitting in the garage overnight. The temperature in the garage was 51 degrees F. I turned on climate in the app to HI and waited 10 minutes before taking these pictures. Based on these, I don't see any evidence of heating of the charge port or other sensors but it could be that it has to be below a certain ambient temperature for it to heat.

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It might be the case that ambient has to below a specific temp.... go park the car outside for an hour?

Also, I think you need to use the defrost button. That should set the temp to max and the defrost on, just then don’t adjust the temp down.
 

Routybouty

Member
Nov 22, 2015
85
84
Fort Wayne, Indiana
It could also be that the radar heater only runs if the radar can detect an obstruction. Without any evidence, I imagine the returns are going to be very fast and/or very degraded with snow/ice on the bumper. If it doesn't detect the problem, then why enable the heater. I could see them tying this to temp. If we have confidence of snow/ice and it's < 35f, then enable the heater.

For the ultrasonic sensors I wonder if it could be a different emissivity of the sensor material vs the bumper. Might just be on also.
 
Last edited:
Jun 26, 2020
86
92
Maine
Another benefit is that it has a 25 Hz refresh rate so you can record smooth thermal videos versus the 9 Hz refresh rate with most other thermal cameras.
Great pics, thanks for sharing! I’d love to see you demonstrate the 25hz refresh in a video walkaround of your preheating car on a cold morning...
 

fparent

Member
Sep 4, 2018
41
20
Cleveland
It could also be that the radar heater only runs if the radar can detect an obstruction. Without any evidence, I imagine the returns are going to be very fast and/or very degraded with snow/ice on the bumper. If it doesn't detect the problem, then why enable the heater. I could see them tying this to temp. If we have confidence of snow/ice and it's < 35f, then enable the heater.

Once the radar detects an obstruction due to ice and snow, it's already too late. At that point Autopilot becomes unusable and we can't even turn on the simple cruise control. Getting the radar area on the bumper warm enough to melt ice and snow could take a while going at 65 mph.
 
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Koolio46

Member
Aug 26, 2020
466
189
Boston, MA
It might be the case that ambient has to below a specific temp.... go park the car outside for an hour?

Also, I think you need to use the defrost button. That should set the temp to max and the defrost on, just then don’t adjust the temp down.
Yeah, I want to say I remember reading somewhere that the charge port heats only when ambient temps are near or below freezing.
 

rxlawdude

Active Member
Jul 10, 2015
2,375
1,646
Orange County, CA
Once the radar detects an obstruction due to ice and snow, it's already too late. At that point Autopilot becomes unusable and we can't even turn on the simple cruise control. Getting the radar area on the bumper warm enough to melt ice and snow could take a while going at 65 mph.

And this is where Tesla needs to have an Autopilot setting that just provides "dumb cruise control" for those situations where autopilot/FSD are unavailable for any reason.
 
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fparent

Member
Sep 4, 2018
41
20
Cleveland
And this is where Tesla needs to have an Autopilot setting that just provides "dumb cruise control" for those situations where autopilot/FSD are unavailable for any reason.
You're right. But even my 2012 Genesis will disable cruise control when there's too much snow on the bumper. I don't know why it has to be this way but it seems to be imposed by the radar technology the system is based on.
 

rxlawdude

Active Member
Jul 10, 2015
2,375
1,646
Orange County, CA
Clearly Tesla can set up a static cruise control that just ignores signals from radar and cameras, as many newer HW3 equipped cars (Enterprise rental MS100s, for example) that don't have any autopilot features enabled.
 

EVKANE

Member
Nov 30, 2020
15
8
Seattle, WA
The sensors and cameras are definitely heated. Might be related to Sentry on/off. This is after a cold (not freezing) night parked outside with Sentry on.
 

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Daks

Member
Oct 21, 2020
131
91
Anchorage, AK USA
Most of the heated stuff I have around the house only turns on when the temps are close to freezing and will only heat to just above freezing. I bet Tesla does this too, no reason to heat the charge port door if it couldn't possibly be frozen shut. At 51F, that isn't going to happen...

BTW - those thermal cameras are great - although it's also how people get your pin code from an ATM or gas pump... I now have to make sure I push all of the buttons after I put my pin code in.
 

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