Tesla Vision Sees Better Than Radar

I chatted with my Twitter friend WholeMarsBlog earlier and he shared his thoughts on Tesla Vision and how better it is than the Tesla FSD using radar. Whenever a new, seemingly crazy idea is pitched, the masses, out of fear and caution, shut it down.

Many thought Elon Musk was nuts when he first confirmed that Tesla would no longer use radar and switch to pure vision instead. Some headlines asked if Tesla could really do it or if they were making the switch due to the chip shortage. Some called it confusing, while others called it a war on LiDAR.

Not only did Tesla completely remove radar from FSD, but beta testers are now testing the newest software that doesn’t have radar and they are raving. WholeMarsBlog tweeted that when he tried it on the highway for the first time, it was even better than the radar fusion system. He mentioned smoother lane changes due to the vehicle not just tracking what the front radar would be bouncing off of.

In a chat on Twitter, he shared some more thoughts.

“It’s just smoother and better which is counter-intuitive. You would think that radar would be better. But the vision only system actually feels much smoother and more capable.”

Teslarati shared a tweet by WholeMarsBlog that I’d missed where he found that pure vision handled the fog pretty well. The short clip showed that although the Model 3 was moving with a bit of caution, it was moving pretty confidently as well.

The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration noted that low visibility conditions cause increased speed variance. This increases the risk of crashes. Every year, over 38,700 vehicle crashes happen during foggy conditions — killing over 600 people while injuring over 16,300 annually.

This made me think of an article that I’d written back in April that analyzed a video by YouTuber “Dr. Know It All,” who shared a study by Stanford showing how Tesla vehicles can see through the fog.

The article is a bit technical, but in a nutshell, you can train the entire AI system to see — and to brake when you see something unexpected in your path, such as a deer or a kid. Dr. Know It All explained that Tesla would be doing pseudo-confocal diffuse tomography (CDT), a technique for noninvasive 3D imaging through scattering media.

One key theme that many are saying about the new FSD Beta V9 is that it is smoother and has better visualizations. Others mentioned greater confidence and noted that there were fewer disengagements.

Now, who’s ready for FSD Beta X?


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