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Tesla files to use new ‘millimeter-wave radar’ in electric cars

Tesla has applied with the FCC for the use of a new “millimeter-wave radar” inside the automaker’s electric cars.

New Tesla Radar

Tesla uses a front-facing radar sensor hidden inside the front fascia of its vehicles as part of its Autopilot/Full Self-Driving (FSD) sensor suite.

Electrek has found a new FCC filing from Tesla in which the automaker applied to get a new “Vehicle Millimeter-wave Radar Sensor” for use on public roads:

“The equipment under test (EUT) was an Vehicle Millimeter-wave Radar Sensor operating in 60 GHz band (60-64 GHz).”

Tesla applied for confidentiality for the new device, and therefore, we won’t have more information and pictures until the confidentiality agreement is up in July 2021.

We recently reported on Tesla looking to add a new “4D” radar with twice the range of its previous radar.

It’s unclear if this radar is related or it’s a different radar for a different purpose.

Here’s the test report from Tesla’s FCC application for the new radar sensor:

[scribd id=490635074 key=key-uRqZA7eZdpGui0wur2tN mode=scroll]

Tesla Loves Cameras and Radar, Hates Lidar

Early on its Autopilot and self-driving effort, Tesla made a clear decision to bet on computer vision powered by camera and complemented with radar.

CEO Elon Musk famously hates the use of lidar sensors for autonomous driving systems.

Yesterday, he even told an analyst that Tesla wouldn’t use lidar sensors. Early ones were known to be expensive but have come down in price in recent years, even if they were free:

I mean totally free, well, I think even if it was free, we wouldn’t put it on.

Instead, Tesla is using eight surround cameras around its vehicles complemented by 12 ultrasonic sensors and a front-facing radar.

All Tesla vehicles since 2016 have been equipped with this suite of sensors or at least similar versions of it, as some hardware updates have been introduced over the years.

Now it looks like Tesla is preparing to introduce a new radar to the sensor suite.

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