Lesson 1. Outdated Cameras and Sensors.
Let's put our differences aside and stick to the facts.
We can all agree that computing power inside cars is an increasingly important feature. A significant amount of computing power is necessary to enable optimal driver assistance and automated driving and activate safety features.
To optimize automated driving, many of the automakers choose from variety of sensors such as cameras, radar, lidar, and ultrasonic sensors, so that vehicles can detect in the surroundings they are in. All the data derived from the sensors must be grouped together, and this is where the control unit comes into play.
General M3 owners believe all the hardware pieces inside M3 are technically the most advanced available on the market. But is it?
A peek under the hood, though, reveals that Tesla’s primary design goal for Model 3 was to reduce the cost of ADAS (Advanced Drivers Assistance Systems), making the model “affordable”.
For automotive sensors in Model 3, Tesla is using eight cameras, one radar and 12 ultrasonic sensors. Model 3 uses no lidars.
Ok, before I bore you to death, let's get straight to the detail specs.
Tesla Model 3 overview of sensors for ADAS Applications:
Main Forward Camera : Max Dist. 150M
Narrow Forward Camera : Max Dist. 250M
Forward Looking Side Camera : Max Dist. 80M
Wide Forward Camera : Max Dist. 60M
Rearward Looking Side Camera : Max Dist. 100M
Rear View Camera: Max Dist. 50M
Ultrasoics: Max Dist. 8M
Radar: Max Dist. 160M
The sensor package designed into Tesla Model 3 includes: eight cameras which provide 360-degree visibility around the car within a radius of 250 meters; 12 ultrasonic sensors that complete this vision system. Together, they allow the detection of hard and soft objects at a distance and with almost twice the accuracy of the previous system. The package also incorporates a forward-facing radar system with improved processing capabilities. It provides additional data about the surrounding environment on a redundant wavelength that can see through heavy rain, fog, dust and even beyond previous cars.
On the camera front, there are four cameras facing the front that support the radar and have different characteristics. The main one, covers 250 meters but with a very narrow-angle of view, and there are others that cover shorter distances (150-, 80- and 60 meters) but with a wide-angle view of the environment around the car and are those used to read the road signs. The other four cameras face the sides and rear of the car and can see up to 100 meters away.
Sonar, on the other hand, uses ultrasound to detect obstacles within a radius of 8 meters around the car. It works at any speed and also controls the blind spot. The data collected by the sonar is also used by Autopilot to manage the automatic lane change during overtaking. Finally, GPS is used to detect the position of the car concerning the road.
I'm sure most of you already know this, btw.
To enlighten your knowledge, Eight cameras in total designed into M3 are based on the same 1.2 MP image sensors released by O.S. in 2015. The low cost 1.2 MP sensors are neither new in technology nor high resolution.
Tesla sourced all eight image sensors from the same supplier to cut costs, obviously.
So the Triple Forward Camera of the M3 features three CMOS image sensors with 1280 x 960 1.2MP resolution.
Phantom Braking anyone?
Upcoming Lesson 2:
Autopilot ECU: HW3.0? Why it will be short lived and HW4.0 with new AP rewrite will be available shortly.
In summary, you will never ever have a fully functioning FSD with your current M3. It's like buying Apple iPhone Version 1 and wishing eventually it will miraculously turn into a retina 5G smartphone.
Save the money. Buy the FSD when it's completely finished and safety approved by the powers to be.