Tesla files to bring radar back to its self-driving hardware kit as soon as January
After removing the radar and ultrasonic parking sensors from its cars, saying that its camera-only Vision solution will be enough as a replacement, Tesla is looking to bring radar back in some form as soon as next month. Back in June, Tesla submitted a new "high-resolution radar" device codenamed 1541584 to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for testing and approval for sale in the US, and today it filed an extension for the FCC to keep its details under wraps for 60 more days, as "the device won't be marketed until mid-January 2023."
The device's operating frequencies largely overlap with the external Bosch and Continental-made radars that Tesla had used so far for its autonomous driving features, so there is low probability for this to be something else than a self-driving hardware suite augmentation. Some Chinese made electric vehicles like the new Lotus Eletre, for instance, have an interior radar which can detect dogs or children left in the car and adjust the A/C accordingly, but this doesn't seem to be the case here.
While Elon Musk is on record saying that a Tesla Vision kit with high-resolution cameras will be superior to the previous radar with Vision solution that Tesla got rid of, he also added that very high-definition radars are another thing altogether, and add real value. The 6 Tx antennas in the FCC approval documents, however, don't indicate that this is a high-definition radar due to the number of virtual channels it can work on.
This leaves us with the radar being brought back again to Tesla's upcoming vehicles equipped with its next generation Hardware 4.0 autonomous driving kit that may debut on the Cybertruck and the Model 3 design refresh, both of which are coming in 2023.
Samsung reportedly already won the order from Tesla for the high-resolution cameras that will go into said kit, so production preparations may already be on the way, with a radar brought back for added convenience. It seems that the ex-VW CEO's opinion that for higher levels of autonomous driving EVs would definitely need LiDAR in addition to cameras may be vindicated, after all.
No, but hey, in the classic Streizand effect at play, they new drew attention about something potentially major planned for mid January which is just a bit over a month away...— green (@greentheonly) December 6, 2022
Like something that coincides with a sensor suite change. https://t.co/JZqj8e8eto
FCC via Tony DeLuca (Twitter)