FCC Filings Show That Tesla Will Be Adding Radar Back To Its Vehicles

Looks like Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk might also soon need to take back claims that full autonomy for its vehicles could be reached through a “pure vision” approach. The company recently filed documents with the Federal Communications Commission to use a new radar in its vehicles.

The filing, first reported by Electrek, follows mounting scrutiny over the electric carmaker’s Autopilot system and the US$15,000 upgrade that the company calls “Full Self-Driving” (FSD). 

The FSD Beta software, which was recently finally rolled out to all users who paid for the upgrade in North America, is a Level 2 driving automation system, which means that while it has some advanced driver assistance features like lane centering and adaptive cruise control, it would very clearly still need a driver to be at the wheel at all times. 

And so contrary to what the name wants users to believe, FSD is not a self-driving system.

Regardless, Musk has promised — for perhaps the eighth or ninth year running — that he would “solve” full self-driving by the end of this year, before finally conceding and admitting that it would take longer.

The new FCC filing is raising alarm bells because of two things. 

First, radar was initially removed from the company’s vehicles in May this year, contrary to industry standards, after Musk touted the potential of the Tesla Vision system

Second, Tesla has long claimed that all its vehicles have “all the needed hardware” to become self-driving and would only need future software updates, but now even this doesn’t appear to be true with a new radar. 

The FCC disclosure does not specify the type of radar that will be used, or which models will get it. The filing was a request to extend the confidential treatment of the details of the new radar until mid-January 2023.

Tesla last traded at $173.44 on the Nasdaq.

Information for this briefing was found via Electrek, TechCrunch, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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