Tesla Justifies Suppressing Radars And Shifting To Tesla Vision

Tesla, Elon Musk, and company executives often make weird remarks about the company’s strategy. In the latest Q2 2020 financial results presentation, Musk said that it’s “debatable” if the FSD subscription makes sense and that Tesla had to “make Full Self-Driving work in order for it to be a compelling value proposition. Otherwise, people are betting on the future.” Tesla was not far behind when it explained why it removed radars from its cars.
Tesla Autopilot and FSD 8 photos
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The Q2 2021 document the company released stated that “after selling over a million vehicles equipped with radar,” Tesla has “collected enough data to start removing it in some regions.” The EV maker repeats that in the following sentence by stating that the removal of radar “is enabled by our collection of a vast dataset of corner cases.”

In other words, Tesla vehicles did not have radars to offer a safer ADAS (advanced driver-assistance system). They had them primarily to collect data for the company, according to what Tesla wrote in its Q2 2021 report. Following that logic, they could also have LiDARs. Apparently, Tesla thinks that customers would be willingly paying for that equipment to help the company gather more data.

The company stated that removing radars allowed it “to focus on vision and increase the pace of improvement.” Why removing radars from its cars helped on that is not something Tesla made clear in that small text about the decision.

This would not be the first time Tesla used its clients to save some bucks. The company also puts them to test its beta software on public roads with Autopilot and now with FSD. In this last case, it used to charge $7,000 for the “privilege” and increased that price to $10,000 when Tesla vehicles became appreciating assets, in Elon Musk’s words.

Consumer Reports already warned that “testing developing self-driving systems without adequate driver support can – and will – end in fatalities.” The customer protection organization urged Tesla to stop beta testing, but it seems to have made no difference in its strategy.


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