When Elon Musk anounced the update, and eventually the pure vision system of using only the cameras was confirmed. Then Tesla owners first seemed curious to know how it works, possibly expected them to add some additional equipment or feature which seems a bit more practical. However, some owners have been conveying their concerns, especially as it concerns safety.
It is nothing new, already experts have pointed out that this would a back step for any autonomous driving system. In fact, the Model Y and Model 3 lost their place in NHTSA with this update, as it is no longer considered safe. Saying that the Model Y and Model 3 manufactured after April 27 will no longer have NHTSA safety mark on them.
It was a risk-taking move for Tesla to shift to pure vision, isn’t easy to prove a theory they are working on.
The uncleared concepts
Basically, Tesla’s explanation is that we humans have been driving cars for centuries with just two eyes. We didn’t have a radar system installed in ourselves!
But then, 8 cameras is equal to one human driving ability is not an ideal statement too. Furthermore as said by Elon Musk, these cameras will enable the car to see all sides, it is much better because it gives additional eyes. All sides the front, the back, the sides can be viewed and analyzed while driving.
This leading to another confusion is that humans can hear, analyze the sound, turn and make their judgment based on what they see. Mere cameras wouldn’t do the trick and a little more brief explanation on how the system works would help.
Additionally, another concern is specifically because users are used to radar. So far radar vision has enabled many users to drive in tough weather conditions. Like some instances when the driver is driving through fog and couldn’t see the faraway car/object. But the FSD Beta detected easily and notified the driver immediately.
It is possible that once the FSD version 9 is out when owners get to see the update themselves they get a clearer picture regarding the safety. But, Elon Musk recently tweeted an explanation from Reddit, which somewhat helps in understand what Tesla’s working on.
Choosing Radars or Cameras
Clearly, Tesla isn’t just about Elon Musk, but their team too. Recently the California crash came out to be true that Tesla had purchased FSD Beta. Tesla has to make safety its the highest priority.
Under a tweet, Elon Musk posted a Reddit reply, which briefly explains the concept.
Not sure who wrote this, but it’s accurate pic.twitter.com/gRvWxOJZ56
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 26, 2021
The idea of making the cameras work like human eyes is a choice. Using both cameras and radar is too complex, Tesla had to choose between radar vision or pure vision. Which means choosing between what you want your self-driving car to have. Would it be knowing there is an object far ahead of you? or Would it be knowing there is a car/tree/human coming near to the car?
Using cameras brings more clarity, however might slow down the car. While the cameras will be better than human eyes, humans drive slow in case of unsure situations. So, the autonomous system would also be slowing down the car as the vision becomes unclear.
However, Tesla owners mostly have been optimistic despite some concerns. Their updates have always satisfied the users’ expectations.