Camera-only Tesla Vision FSD comes to the Model S and Model X defying opinions that self-driving needs radar
While Volkswagen's CEO is of the opinion that a true Level 3 autonomous driving can't be achieved on the cheap with cameras only, so its electric vehicles will have a LiDAR redundancy, Tesla presses on with the opinion of its CEO Elon Musk that a radar is not needed. The Model 3 and Model Y which are sold in greater numbers already moved to Tesla's Vision concept last May, simply meaning that they don't come with a front radar anymore, and it's now the boutique Model S and Model X's turn. All batches of Tesla's performance sedan and SUV built from mid-February on, will come with the Tesla Vision camera-only autonomous driving technology without a radar backup. Elon Musk's Q1 2021 earnings call opinion on the Tesla Vision tech was that it is still plenty:
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.
Fast forward to today and Tesla's Full Self-Driving Beta mode already ran into enough problems on cars equipped with the Vision camera-only kit to warrant phantom braking or accident probes by the NHTSA. Still, during the Q4 earnings press conference Tesla's CEO confirmed his annual claim that the Vision system will become safer than a human driver is by the end of the year. In its "Transitioning to Tesla Vision" support page Tesla warns that two of the company's assisted driving features - Forward Collision Warning and Automatic Emergency Braking - haven't yet been evaluated by the NHTSA for correct functionality without the radar input but it expects them to be soon.