Tesla Model S and Model X To Start Shipping With Front Bumper Cameras, No Retrofit Planned

Tesla Model S and Model X to start shipping with front bumper cameras 7 photos
Photo: Tesla
First alleged glimpse at the HW4 new headlight camerasFirst alleged glimpse at the HW4 new headlight camerasTesla already uses Vision for distance measurement on cars without ultrasonic sensorsMunro Live explains the implications of Tesla removing ultrasonic sensorsMunro Live explains the implications of Tesla removing ultrasonic sensors2024 Tesla Model X
Tesla is offering a new update to its flagship models, bringing ambient lighting and a front bumper camera, among other features. The latter has always been on the table after Tesla eliminated the ultrasonic sensors. Still, only the Cybertruck got one so far. The bumper camera is considered critical for the parking assistance features of Tesla vehicles.
When Tesla eliminated the ultrasonic sensors in 2022, many believed the camera-based Tesla Vision system could not fully emulate their function. Many have speculated about adding a new front camera to the existing setup to cover the blind zone in front of the vehicle. Some believed this would come with the Hardware 4 sensor suite and even thought they saw headlamp-integrated cameras in the refreshed Model S/X. Alas, it was finally proven that no additional camera was planned with Hardware 4.

To add even more drama into the mix, the first official pictures of the Model 3 Highland appeared to show a front camera in the lower section of the front spoiler. The confusion lasted until the refreshed Model 3 started deliveries, after which disappointment set in. Still, there's no smoke without a fire, and clearly, Tesla was considering a front bumper camera internally, hence the rumors.

Teslascope claims that Tesla will finally add a front bumper camera to the Model S and Model X shipping this month. The account has provided accurate insider information about Tesla's plans in the past, and I believe it's not mistaken now. Teslascope usually delays talking about new features until the very last moment so as not to get at odds with Tesla, which means the changes are imminent. Alongside the front bumper camera, Tesla is rumored to add ambient lighting and other changes that Teslascope doesn't mention.

The Model S and Model X may be the flagship models in Tesla's lineup, but they have fallen behind other models in terms of features. Tesla overhauled them in 2021 with a swanky new interior and the controversial yoke steering, then updated them again in 2023 when the Hardware 4 computer and sensors were added. Following the Model 3 Highland launch, Tesla customers have been spoiled with convenience features, so few even consider paying double the price for a Model S with fewer amenities.

Like the Cybertruck, the Model S/X bumper camera would only be used for park assist features, not FSD. For all the benefits it brings, it's also a two-sided sword for Tesla. If it offers it on the Model S/X, it also means that it will soon land in the Model 3 and Model Y. This means fewer sales for Tesla as customers postpone the purchase while waiting for the updates to trickle down. This is especially problematic as Teslascope says no retrofit is planned for the front bumper camera. Vision park assist may have improved lately, but it's nowhere near as good as the trusted old ultrasonic sensors.

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About the author: Cristian Agatie
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After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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