Tesla could add a new radar to its electric cars

Towards a new radar on the next Tesla vehicles? This is suggested by a document from the manufacturer addressed to the FCC, the Federal Communications Commission, relayed by our colleagues fromElectrek. The leak comes at a difficult time for Tesla, with the safety and accuracy of its advanced driver assistance system, as well as the Full Self-Driving option, under intense scrutiny after several serious crashes. .

A driver assistance sensor (ADAS)

For several years, the company has been seeking to fully exploit its autonomous driving system. The manufacturer prides itself on achieving this objective solely thanks to its vision system, via the cameras placed on the car. Elon Musk, the group’s CEO, also assured that a first successful version of 100% autonomous driving would see the light of day before the end of 2022. However, the use of cameras alone is considered insufficient by many experts to ensure safety. users.

Would Tesla have started to hear these criticisms? Possible. Thus, the company recently requested authorization to use a radar for its vehicles. In the document, the company plans to open for sale in January 2023. A surprising decision which comes after the removal of radars in 2021 and that of ultrasonic sensors at the start of the year.

The new radar soon to be approved by the FCC operates in a frequency band of 76-77 GHz. “Based on the operating frequency and mechanical design of the sensor in Tesla’s filing with the FCC, it appears that this radar is used in ADAS applications”says Steven Hong, vice president and general manager of radar technology for the Ambarella Group, which specializes in the production of semiconductors, at TechCrunch. As a reminder, ADAS applications (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) designate all the driving assistance tools.

The sensor implanted by Tesla could therefore be used by the central computer to improve the performance of Full Self-Driving.

A high definition sensor?

In June 2021, Elon Musk had nevertheless told our colleagues ofElectrek that it probably wouldn’t use a sensor for autonomous driving. “Security will be higher in pure vision [utilisation des caméras uniquement, NDLR] than in vision with radar. The vision has become so good that the radar actually reduces the signal-to-noise ratio”specified the boss of Tesla, before adding: “A very high resolution radar would be better than pure vision, but such a radar does not exist.”

Would Tesla have finally found the very high resolution radar evoked by Musk? Industry experts answer in the affirmative. The use of a high-definition radar could thus become clearer in the coming weeks. A technological development that could drastically improve the precision and safety of the automatic control system of Tesla vehicles.

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