Tesla Gives Up on Ultrasonic Sensors, Cuts Autopark, Park Assist, and Summon Functions

Tesla Vision will now kill ultrasonic sensors (USS) in all the EV maker's vehicles 8 photos
Photo: Tesla
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Criticizes Tesla AutoparkNassim Nicholas Taleb Criticizes Tesla AutoparkNassim Nicholas Taleb Criticizes Tesla AutoparkNassim Nicholas Taleb Criticizes Tesla AutoparkTesla Autopilot and FSDTesla Autopilot and FSDTesla Autopilot and FSD
When Tesla stopped using radars in its cars because it would stick with Tesla Vision, that was considered a bizarre cost-cutting measure. The company claims its vehicles are now safer despite the known limitations cameras present in multiple weather conditions – not to mention the investigations on Autopilot and Full Self-Driving (FSD). The deal is that Tesla is doubling down on Tesla Vision: the new victims are ultrasonic sensors (USS).
If you have no idea what they are, these components are the small round elements inserted in bumpers to help you park your car. The Model 3 and Model Y made from now on will be delivered without them. In 2023, it will be the Model S’s and Model X’s turn. The strategy will not include a seamless transition to the new system: it will eliminate some features Tesla owners may be used to having. Autopark, Park Assist, Summon, and Smart Summon are no more, at least for a while.

According to Tesla, the Model 3 and Model Y without USS will only offer these functions again when they “achieve performance parity to today’s vehicles.” Curiously, Tesla detractors have often mocked the company because of these features’ poor performance. People often crash their cars with Smart Summon, and some Tesla owners have bashed Autopark more than once. Nassim Nicholas Taleb probably made the most public complaint about it.

The good news is that reaching performance parity with something that works poorly should not take a lot of time. The bad one is that Tesla Vision may still lack the proper abilities to avoid hitting other people’s cars, objects, or even people when any of these four features operate. Ultimately, Tesla will be the one evaluating these functions’ performance and saying it is better than ever before. The company insists Tesla Vision worked fine for Autopilot. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is still evaluating if that is really the case.

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About the author: Gustavo Henrique Ruffo
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Motoring writer since 1998, Gustavo wants to write relevant stories about cars and their shift to a sustainable future.
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