Tesla has announced via a blog post on its website that it will no longer equip Model 3 or Model Y vehicles in the North American market with radar beginning with deliveries in May 2021.
In a blog called “Transitioning to Tesla Vision,” Tesla outlined its plans to maneuver toward a 100% vision-based approach for its Autopilot, Full Self-Driving, and “certain active safety features.”
“We are continuing the transition to Tesla Vision, our camera-based Autopilot system,” the company wrote. “Beginning with deliveries in May 2021, Model 3 and Model Y vehicles built for the North American market will no longer be equipped with radar. Instead, these will be the first Tesla vehicles to rely on camera vision and neural net processing to deliver Autopilot, Full-Self Driving, and certain active safety features.”
Tesla also stated that customers who ordered before May 2021 and are matched to a car with Tesla Vision would “be notified of the change through their Tesla Accounts prior to delivery.”
As a result of the transition to Tesla Vision, three features, Autosteer, Smart Summon, and Emergency Lane Departure Avoidance, will be temporarily limited or inactive.
Autosteer will be limited to a maximum speed of 75 mph and a longer minimum following distance. Meanwhile, Smart Summon and Emergency Lane Departure Avoidance “may be disabled at delivery.”
The features will be restored via a series of Over-the-Air software updates. Meanwhile, every other Autopilot and Full Self-Driving feature will be active at delivery, depending on order configuration.
Tesla stated that Model S and Model X vehicles, and all vehicles built for markets outside of North America, will continue to equip radar and will have radar-supported Autopilot functionality until the company determines “the appropriate time to transition those vehicles to Tesla Vision.”
The Model S and Model X are not being transitioned to Tesla Vision because the Model 3 and Model Y’s mass-market status allows Tesla to analyze a large volume of real-world data in short periods of time. This will speed up the rollout of features that will utilize Tesla Vision in the future.
Tesla updated its Model 3 and Model Y pages yesterday on its website to reflect the pure vision, an approach that CEO Elon Musk stated the company would take during the Q1 2021 Earnings Call.
“When your vision works, it works better than the best human because it’s like having eight cameras, it’s like having eyes in the back of your head, beside your head, and has three eyes of different focal distances looking forward. This is — and processing it at a speed that is superhuman. There’s no question in my mind that with a pure vision solution, we can make a car that is dramatically safer than the average person,” Musk said.