Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Question about FSD & Robotaxi


Question about FSD & Robotaxi

I was talking with my friend Ben, who is a fellow Tesla fanatic like me and we were talking about Tesla's future. We got on the subject of Robotaxi and came across a question that puzzled us both. 

Image above is from my article titled:

 "Tesla CyberVehicle Family Design Concept by Jake Ehrlich"


Teslas used to come standard with Ultrasonic Sensors coupled with Tesla Vision which places cameras around the vehicle so could navigate on its own. Tesla removed all radar equipment about 2.5 years ago.

FSD Question

Since many Tesla Hardware 3 and all Hardware 4 equipped vehicles rely solely on cameras for navigating with Full Self Driving, what would occur if you were driving in heavy fog or in a heavy snowstorm or if the cameras were obscured by dirt, bright sunlinght or even heavy rain, and the Tesla cameras could not see very far ahead of you?

Wouldn't this render FSD useless, and wouldn't this potentially hinder the success of the Robotaxi fleet?

Example Scenario

I will offer an example for illustration purposes: Let's say you are in a Tesla that is driving using only the cameras for navigation and you end up driving into heavy fog, with extremely low visibility. This has happened to be in the past where I had to slow down and drive around 10 MPH as I could barely see out of the windshield. 

I assumed Tesla vehicles only equipped with cameras for navigation could perhaps rely on legacy GPS data from Tesla vehicles that had historically driven over the same path, so if the Tesla could not see well, it could still navigate, but then the question comes up of 'What if another car crashed on the road in front of you, and your Tesla was driving thought heavy fog using legacy GPS data, then wouldn't you potentially crash into the vehicle?

Image above is from my article titled:

 "Tesla CyberVehicle Family Design Concept by Jake Ehrlich"


I believe I found the answer. I found an article from InsideEVNews.com that essentially said: 

"As Electrek writes, Elon Musk said around the time of the removal of the radar in 2021 that he was most frustrated with the quality of the radar itself and believed that a high-resolution unit would improve the company’s driver assistance systems."

The InsideEVNews.com article suggests that high quality front facing radar comes standard as part of the Hardware 4 suite.

Also, I have full faith in Elon. Anybody that could figure out how to land 300 rockets on earth is pure genius...

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