Tesla Cameras - When They Get Blurry, It Disrupts Autopilot and FSD
Tesla has three primary software systems that rely on its cameras all being clear. Those cameras are three cameras in the front, two "b-pillar" cameras on the side, two cameras on each side of the fender, and a camera on the rear. There is also a camera inside the driver area that monitors the driver of things like the eyes being closed.
Future versions of Tesla vehicles may change this camera setup, and I have yet to find someone describe the exact setup of the Tesla Cybertruck cameras to see if they are the same or different from this.
Tesla relies on these cameras having clear images in order to run 5 primary pieces of software:
- Enhanced Autopilot
- FSD (full self-driving)
- Cabin monitoring
- Blind spot/rear views
These pieces of software don't always function when the cameras are blurry and sometimes, they will be completely disabled if the vision software system isn't seeing what it needs to.
In a video with Sandy Munro, he is talking while in the Cybertruck and talks about how the rearview mirror is missing, and the rear camera is foggy or full of mud. When he shows the blind spot camera, the view is perfect, however, when he shows the rear camera, it is very blurry.
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— Jeremy Noel Johnson (@AGuyOnlineHere) December 7, 2023
In this situation, there's nothing that can be done to fix the blurry rear camera except to stop the Cybertruck and pull over and wipe it off. Sandy might also be able to run the climate controls on HI for a bit and see if that clears up the foggy camera view.
Either way, this is not a good solution and Tesla is going to have a difficult time having a robotaxi fleet if they don't find an automated solution for cleaning their cameras when they get foggy, dirty, or blurry.
Solutions to the Camera Problem
Fortunately, there have been some proposed solutions that I've seen. The first is a laser beam patent that Tesla published a while ago that can clean debris off the windshield. I haven't heard any progress on this technology or the possibility of it, but some kind of laser or heater that can quickly dissipate fog and dirt off the camera would be extremely useful.
Tesla is an incredibly difficult company to get a job at, and I'm sure there is someone - or multiple people, who are very talented and would be able to solve this problem and invent some kind of laser beam using this patent.
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— Jeremy Noel Johnson (@AGuyOnlineHere) December 6, 2023
The next would be having some kind of mini wiper with a spray that cleans off the cameras. This would require adding some complexity to Tesla's vehicles and extra controls to run the wipers. Or, Tesla could simply detect that the cameras are blurry and automatically spray the cameras to clean them.
This solution is a little more difficult and messy because it would require retrofitting all Tesla vehicles to have this wiper and spray. I'm not sure if it's feasible, and it doesn't align with Tesla's philosophy of, "the best part is no part."
Beyond these two solutions, Tesla could put some kind of defrost or defog mechanism near the cameras that could quickly dissipate fogginess from the cameras whenever that happens. That would at least take care of that use case. It may not handle mud or debris on the camera, however.
Tesla needs a solution to this, or an automated robotaxi fleet is going to be much more difficult to run.
Do you have any ideas for solutions to Tesla's problem with blurry cameras? What can be done?
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I’ve only been saying for almost 6 years now that the rear cameras on Teslas need a spray nozzle, and again it looks like it might be worse on Cybertruck.
Hope this is addressed before they make it affordable 😄
Hi! I'm Jeremy Noel Johnson, and I am a Tesla investor and supporter and own a 2022 Model 3 RWD EV and I don't have range anxiety :). I enjoy bringing you breaking Tesla news as well as anything about Tesla or other EV companies I can find, like Aptera. Other interests of mine are AI, Tesla Energy and the Tesla Bot! You can follow me on X.COM or LinkedIn to stay in touch and follow my Tesla and EV news coverage.