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RC Cybertruck Spotted Testing With LiDAR as Tesla Calibrates FSD Cameras Ahead of Start of Production

A new release candidate Cybertruck has been spotted close to Tesla’s engineering headquarters in Palo Alto, California. Tesla appears to be using LiDAR to calibrate the FSD cameras ahead of the Cybertruck's release.


Tesla is in the process of ramping up Cybertruck volume production. The EV maker produced the first release candidate Cybertruck only a few weeks ago, and since then, Tesla has produced more than 150 Cybertrucks.

Currently, Tesla’s Giga Texas factory is building 5 to 10 Cybertrucks a day. A couple of weeks back, Elon Musk also revealed that Tesla has produced the first production candidate Cybertruck which is the final step ahead of the start of volume production.

This was an exciting milestone, however, the production candidate Cybertruck that Musk drove had several fit-and-finish issues prompting Musk to write a company-wide email rallying employees to improve Cybertruck build tolerances to sub-10 micron levels.

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There is also talk of Tesla having produced immaculate “master candidate” Cybertrucks which will be presented to Tesla's executive team for final assessment before receiving the green light to begin Cybertruck volume production.

Given the number of Cybertrucks Tesla has produced thus far and, several semi trucks that have been spotted transporting those trucks all over the country, there are rumors that Tesla is planning a first-of-its-kind delivery event where several Cybertrucks are delivered at once from a number of Tesla stores across the country.

Tesla has also officially started sending out Cybertruck delivery event invites where there is now an option to pay 30,000 Tesla credits to attend the event. Given all the information we’ve so far, it suggests Cybertruck deliveries are imminent. However, despite all the Cybertruck sightings, there is still a lot of work to be done before Tesla officially launches the truck.

And amidst the extensive testing regiment, yesterday, a Release Candidate Cybertruck was spotted driving close to Tesla’s Palo Alto, California engineering headquarters. Given the number of Cybertrucks testing out on the roads, seeing the truck in public is no longer that exciting.

However, this Cybertruck prototype was spotted with a slew of new sensors. As you can see from the picture above, the Cybertruck has a horizontal beam installed on the roof which has two LiDAR sensors installed on each side of the vehicle.

Unlike almost all other companies trying to build the first fully self-driving vehicle, Tesla famously does not use LiDAR but, rather solely relies on cameras to make sense of the real world.

Musk’s reasoning for not using LiDAR or other sensor suits including radar and ultrasonic sensors is that the roads are designed for human beings to operate using their eyes and the computer equivalent to eyes are cameras.

Musk believes in order to solve real-world AI or in other words to create an AI that is capable of driving anywhere in the world, it is necessary to solve driving using only vision and once this happens, Musk believes there will not be any need to use other sensors.

So if Musk is staunchly against using LiDAR, then why is Tesla driving around a production candidate Cybertruck sporting LiDAR sensors? The reason is most likely that although LiDAR is in the long run unnecessary, this method of gathering data is also incredibly important as it can give a very accurate representation of the world.

This is particularly the case in good weather conditions where LiDAR can output incredibly accurate data. Tesla appears to be using the LiDAR sensors to calibrate the FSD cameras. However, once calibrated, Tesla will most likely go back to using cameras in the production version of the truck.

Currently, this is all the information we’ve regarding the issue however, we’ll be sure to keep you posted once we learn more about Tesla’s plans. Until then, make sure to visit our site regularly for the latest updates.

So what do you think? Excited to learn that Tesla is calibrating Cybertruck’s FSD cameras using LiDAR? Also, what do you think this means for the launch of the truck? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Image: Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.

For more information check out: Will Tesla Employees Create a Union?

Tinsae Aregay has been following Tesla and The evolution of the EV space on a daily basis for several years. He covers everything about Tesla from the cars to Elon Musk, the energy business, and autonomy. Follow Tinsae on Twitter at @TinsaeAregay for daily Tesla news.


Rob Turner (not verified)    September 28, 2023 - 3:52PM

Nice write up... but this is not Lidar. Its GPS. Should dig a little deeper before you write an entire article about how silly it is for Tesla to use Lidar. It would be. It is rather silly to jump to conclusions and call it news.