Tesla Vision-only Park Assist without ultrasonic sensors rolls out to more cars but performance varies
Tesla is rolling out its Park Assist update for newer cars without ultrasonic parking sensors (USS) to wider audience and initial owner testing is hit or miss. Removing USS may have saved Tesla about US$144 per car in production costs and the automaker promised it will bring back the features that USS served with an update that leverages the car's camera system to do the same tasks.
First in line for the update was Park Assist as probably the simplest option to cover with cameras only. It was initially released to paying FSD Beta customers only, but is now rolling out to a wider audience of Tesla owners with the 2023.6.9 update.
This has given people a chance to test it out since yesterday and, while the feedback is generally positive, given that their cars have been deprived of any parking assist option for a while, some are nonplussed. According to several accounts, the measures done with the camera are not extremely accurate and sometimes detection is a problem, depending on the object at hand.
While the so-called Tesla Vision Park Assist version does offer something that the ultrasonic parking sensors didn't, namely a 360-degree view also at the sides of the vehicle, it suffers from blind spots, especially in low-light situations. The USS kit may not extend to the sides, but it does have a great front and rear obstacle detection record, including for curbs and small animals passing behind the vehicle while parking in reverse.
The 2024 Tesla Model 3 upgrade, dubbed Project Highland, will reportedly have a new high-res camera placed in the front bumper, like the one on the Cybertruck. This would resolve the current Tesla Vision-only Park Assist blind spot issue, but this may not soothe the owners of USS-less Teslas that can't retrofit the newest HW4 computer and camera kit that Project Highland will have.
It seems to swing the measurements quite a bit while reading the environment. I saw 26-30 when just putting the car into reverse. The distance to the garage was is ~30 inches (I know I can tape measure better, hard with one hand) pic.twitter.com/t7C1KvoaHz— MAN ZONE (@ManZoneBeer) March 24, 2023