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Tesla To Use Camera-Based Autopilot Tech Because Of Increasing Scrutiny

Tesla To Use Camera-Based Autopilot Tech Because Of Increasing Scrutiny
An Autopilot system that makes use of a set of cameras will be now used by the United States based electric car maker Tesla Inc and drop the radar sensor system for its Model 3 and Model Y vehicles in North America beginning this month itself, the company said on Tuesday.
This measure was announced by the company even as there is an increasing scrutiny of its self driving technology by regulators and media who are concerned about the safety of what Tesla calls as "Autopilot" and "Full Self-Driving (FSD)" features. These technologies fitted in the company’s cars came into regulatory focus and scrutiny following a number of crashes involving the company’s cars.
"Pure vision Autopilot is now rolling out in North America," Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in a Tweet.
The company has set up plans for releasing of an improved "FSD beta V9.0" which is based on the pure vision system and the new system wil be launched after three weeks, he said in the tweets.
"FSD subscription will be enabled around the same time," Musk tweeted.
Test version of its new FSD system to a limited number of people was rolled out by the company in October. Thus system allows its cars to navigate and move through city streets while being driven in in semi autonomous mode. The technology can also be used for driving the cars on highways.
The company has however delayed a wider launch of the technology.
Tesla makes use of technology that makes use of cameras and one radar which are used in combination to detect and analyse objects on the road. In contrast, most other companies working on self driving cars such as Waymo makes use of cameras paired with sensors like lidars and radars for driving on roads and for detection and analysis of objects to navigate through them.
Even though the technology used by Tesla helped it to reduce costs and commercialize its driver assistant features, the technology approach of the company have been criticised over safety concerns by experts and other companies.
There could however be some limitations for some features such as lane-centering and parking assistance because of the decision to transition to the use of a camera-focused system, Tesla said, but also assured that software updates will be used "in the weeks ahead" to restore those functions that could get limited with its approach.
Tesla said that the radar based technology will be installed in all of the new Model S and Model X cars of the company as well as all cars that are made for markets outside North America.
Objects on the road or elsewhere are detected by the radar sensor by using radio waves and sensors.
Tesla may not be able to attain full self-driving technology by the end of 2021, the company told California regulators in March.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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