Model Y and Model 3 for the European market will come without radar

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Tesla is still working on its plan to phase out radar from its cars. After taking the first step last year in the United States, the company will stop equipping Model 3 and Model Y manufactured for Europe and the Middle East with LiDAR sensors. The replacement is Tesla Vision, a system based on cameras and a deep neural network that will enable Autopilot and related functions to work.

The company it says that all new Model 3 and Model Y for the mentioned markets will arrive with Tesla Vision. In fact, deliveries will begin this month of April, even for those who had previously placed orders. Although Tesla does not provide details in this regard, when the transition began in the United States, customers were notified of the change before deliveries and received their cars with the new camera system.

With Tesla Vision, but with some limitations

The first customers to receive Model 3 and Model Y with Tesla Vision will encounter a limitation. The autogyro function, which helps to maneuver within a well-defined lane and uses traffic-aware cruise control, will initially be limited to a top speed of 120 km/h. Tesla points out that this is due to the transition process and that it plans to restore full functionality through a series of over-the-air (OTA) software updates to come in the future.


Despite the removal of the radar, the rest of the functions included in the chosen driving assistance package (Autopilot or Full Autonomous Driving Capability) will be available in the new cars. To offer these functions, Tesla Vision will be supported, as we anticipated above, an on-board computer, the processing of an advanced neural network, 8 external cameras, 12 ultrasonic sensors.

However, the new system has not been exempt from certain controversies. The NHTSA, the United States traffic administration agency, received more than 100 complaints last year for “phantom braking” that occurred for no apparent reason in cars with the Tesla Vision system in Full Self-Driving beta. But the agency concluded that there is no substantial difference between vehicles that only use cameras or radar for emergency braking.

braking "ghost"complaints and official investigations: what is happening with the Tesla Autopilot

It should be noted that, despite the terminology used by Tesla, there are as yet no fully autonomous cars on the market. On the way to get it is in Full Self-Driving Beta, which allows you to “Steer on Autopilot”, but which still requires the driver to have their hands on the wheel and be ready to take control of the car at any time.

FSD Beta, which provides early access to features that are not finished and may be buggy, is also a tool that provides important data that supplements Tesla’s internal quality efforts and aids in the development of future features. We must remember that FSD Beta is not available in Europe for regulatory reasons, although Elon Musk believes which could arrive this summer.

Toyota follows in Tesla’s footsteps

Tesla isn’t the only manufacturer looking to move away from LiDAR. Toyota is taking the first steps in this direction. The Japanese giant, via Woven Planet, will start collecting data from in-car cameras to train its future driving system, although this could take years to reach the first commercial products.

“We need a lot of data. And it’s not enough to just have a small amount of data that can be collected from a small fleet of very expensive autonomous vehicles,” he told Reuters Michael Benisch, Director of Engineering at Woven Planet. Of course, the company ensures that the cameras are 90% cheaper than LiDAR sensors, so reducing costs is one of the motivations for promoting the project.

Images | Tesla

Tesla is still working on its plan to phase out radar from its cars. After taking the first step last…

Tesla is still working on its plan to phase out radar from its cars. After taking the first step last…

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