Tesla's FSD hardware 4.0 to use cameras with LED flicker mitigation

By Nuno Cristovao

At Tesla's AI Day event last summer, Elon answered some questions during the Q&A portion of the event that revealed Tesla's plans for FSD hardware.

Elon informally announced that Tesla is already researching the next major hardware revision for full self-driving.

Tesla's camera housing
Tesla's camera housing

Elon said that he expects the current hardware in today's vehicles to be capable of "super-human" driving, but Tesla will continue to update their cars to have the most powerful hardware available.

Elon guessed that Tesla may release FSD hardware 4.0 with the introduction of the Cybertruck. Since the Cybertruck won't be released until the end of this year at the earliest, we may even see new hardware before its arrival, although this is unlikely.

In another question related to new hardware, Elon also said that Tesla is looking into new cameras. He was clear that the current cameras aren't a hindrance, but if Tesla can do better, then they will.

Elon didn't go into details about whether the new cameras would be tied to the Cybertruck or hardware 4.0. He also didn't mention specifically whether the new cameras would be higher resolution, contain larger sensors, or possibly even be placed in different locations.

Tesla currently utilizes three separate front-facing cameras in the housing at the top of the windshield. The camera unit contains wide-angle, standard, and narrow view lenses with three separate CMOS sensors.

Each sensor has a resolution of 1280x960 or about 1.2 megapixels.

New Camera

According to Chris Zheng on Twitter, who has connections with some Tesla suppliers, Tesla is planning to use Sony's new IMX490 automotive sensor in their upcoming hardware 4.0 revision.

Wide-angle camera comparison
Wide-angle camera comparison

This new sensor offers many benefits over the current sensors that Tesla uses in their vehicles.

The new sensors support a much higher resolution of 2896x1876. That's 5.4 megapixels compared to the 1.2 megapixels that Tesla's current front-facing cameras support.

At more than four times the resolution of current sensors, these new sensors will allow Tesla to more accurately detect objects that are required for FSD.

Detecting road edges and lane markings that are further away are especially difficult. Due to the angle of the road and the current image resolution, Tesla often has to make assumptions based on just a few pixels.

The increased resolution will offer a more detailed image and should improve the accuracy in these situations.

The new wide-angle sensor may also allow Tesla to drop the number of cameras used in the front-facing module. Due to the higher resolution in these sensors, Tesla may be able to use this wide-angle sensor to interpret objects that previously required the use of the standard or telephoto lenses before. This may allow Tesla to reduce the number of cameras that are required in the front of the vehicle from three down to two or even a single lens.

The new camera sensor also supports HDR shooting at 10 bit and 40 FPS, offering better contrast and richer colors. It's not clear whether Tesla would take advantage of HDR as it would require more power to process, but it's something Tesla may consider depending on the compute power available.

LED flicker mitigation
LED flicker mitigation

More importantly, the new sensor will also support LED flicker mitigation. Camera sensors often have a hard time capturing the light emitted from LED lights in a constant fashion. Since LEDs are widely used in electronic signs and traffic lights this will be an important feature and should make it easier for Tesla to interpret such signs.

Tesla is working closely with Samsung to produce their next-generation chips that will be used in FSD hardware 4.0. Tesla will likely launch updated cameras at the same time they introduce a new FSD computer.

It makes sense for Tesla to introduce this new hardware in a new model first before retrofitting new camera modules into existing models.

Watch Elon talk about the future of Tesla on today's earnings call

By Nuno Cristovao

Tesla is set to report its fourth-quarter earnings after the market closes today. The call is scheduled to begin at 2:30pm PT.

Tesla to announce their product roadmap
Tesla to announce their product roadmap

This event is going to be an exciting one for several reasons. Elon Musk is scheduled to be on this earnings call. Elon has recently stopped attending earnings calls regularly to help free up some of this time.

The fact that Elon has decided to attend this call could mean that Tesla is going to make a major announcement.

Tesla has also said that they will be revealing their future roadmap during today's earnings call.

There has been a lot of speculation about when the Cybertruck will start production and what the final version of the Cybertruck will look like.

Just a few days ago there were photos and videos of the latest Cybertruck prototype that showed off the truck's windshield wiper, side-view mirrors, and the lack of door handles.

At the very least, we expect Tesla to provide a more concrete timeline for the Cybertruck, the Tesla Semi, and maybe even mention the Tesla Roadster 2.0.

I would not expect Tesla to unveil any major new products at this event since Tesla typically holds a separate event for those occasions, but we expect there will still be a lot to talk about after this call.

Tesla Earnings Call

You can listen to Tesla's earnings call below with visuals provided by CleanTechnica.

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Although we share official Tesla release notes, we are not affiliated with Tesla Motors. We are Tesla fans and supporters.

Upcoming Release

View the release notes for the upcoming version 2022.4.

Confirmed by Elon

Take a look at features that Elon Musk has said will be coming soon.

Days Until Next Release

28

Estimated days until version 2022.8 is released.

Subscribe to be notified when new software is released.

Subscribe

Subscribe to be notified when new software is released.