Tesla intends to add another radar item to its vehicles in mid-January, as per records posted with the Government Correspondences Commission.
The company faces scrutiny regarding the safety and capabilities of its standard advanced driver assistance system known as Autopilot and the $15,000 upgraded product branded as “Full Self-Driving.” Although it is not a self-driving system, the Tesla FSD beta software has some automated driving features.
The luxury electric vehicle manufacturer has long asserted that it could achieve full autonomy using a “vision only” strategy that substitutes cameras and a deep neural network that quickly processes a vehicle’s surroundings and responds in real-time for additional sensors like lidar and radar. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, has said that by the end of this year, he will have “solved” fully autonomous driving. He has also said that Tesla will get there every year for about nine years now. He recently acknowledged that resolving the issue will take more time.
What’s more, maybe, as each and every other independent vehicle technologist says, it’s not really feasible yet through cameras alone.
In October, Tesla removed its 12 ultrasonic sensors from Model 3 and Model Y vehicles designed for North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Taiwan. In May, the company began removing radar from its vehicles. Ultrasonic sensors are used as proximity sensors to support anti-collision safety systems, particularly in parking applications. They measure distance using ultrasonic waves.
Radar appears to be back now. The new radar is not yet available to all models. According to Ram Machness, chief business officer at Arbe Robotics, which manufactures ultra-high-resolution 4D imaging radar, Tesla intends to market a type of radar next year with a frequency designated by the FCC for ADAS use cases.
In June, Tesla submitted a preliminary application to the FCC to incorporate the brand-new radar into its vehicles, which is referred to in the filings as “76-77 GHz Automotive Radar.”
“From the frequency of operation (76-77GHz) as well as the mechanical design of the sensor from Tesla’s FCC filing, it appears that this radar would be utilized in ADAS applications,” Steven Hong, VP and general manager of radar technology at semiconductor company Ambarella, told.
He noticed that while the presentation of this ‘edge’ radar sensor will be restricted, it’s a positive improvement that Tesla is hoping to add radar to its insight stack for security basic, powerful execution.
In order to keep the specifics of the new radar a secret, the FCC granted Tesla a confidential treatment earlier this year. Tesla submitted an application late last month to extend that confidentiality treatment for an additional 60 days from its December 7 expiration date.
The authorization letter to the FCC reads as follows: This device won’t be available for purchase until mid-January 2023. We would like to request that the aforementioned exhibits be held for an additional sixty days until 2023-02-07 in order to prevent any unnecessary disclosure and competitive harm prior to the launch of our product.
Tesla’s request for extended confidentiality was granted by the FCC, according to the filings.