How to Calibrate Your Tesla Cameras for Autopilot

By Lennon Cihak
How to calibrate your Tesla's cameras
How to calibrate your Tesla's cameras
Not a Tesla App

If your Tesla is not recognizing objects correctly, if it appears to be performing abnormally, or if you're receiving errors related to your cameras or Autopilot, you may want to calibrate your vehicle's cameras.

The process may take a while to complete, but it's quick and easy to begin.

How Many Cameras Does a Tesla Have?

Teslas with Autopilot 2 or higher have eight cameras around the vehicle, excluding the cabin camera. The cabin camera was initially added with the Model 3 in 2017, and Tesla later enabled its use via a software update.

The cabin camera does not directly impact Autopilot’s performance while engaged. Instead, it’s solely used to help monitor the driver and confirm that they're paying attention while Autopilot is engaged.

Tesla initially equipped its vehicles with ultrasonic sensors, but the Austin-based automotive company is transitioning its vehicles to leverage Tesla Vision exclusively. In 2022 Tesla begin to omit ultrasonic sensors entirely and now uses the vehicle’s cameras exclusively.

How to Calibrate Your Tesla’s Cameras

To calibrate your vehicle's cameras, follow the steps below. Keep in mind that although you can drive your vehicle immediately after performing these steps, some features that depend on the vehicle's cameras will not be available until after calibration is completed.

  • Go to “Controls” (the car icon)
  • Tap “Service”
  • Tap “Camera Calibration”

Once you’ve tapped “Camera Calibration,” a warning message will pop up with the following text:

“Clearing the Autopilot camera calibration will reset the calibrated camera positions and angles stored on the Autopilot computer. This procedure should only be performed if the cameras have been moved due to a windshield or camera replacement. Clearing calibration will result in no Autopilot features until the system recalibrates, which may take up to 100 miles of driving on roads with highly-visible lane lines.”

When you’re ready, tap “Clear Calibration.”

Note: If possible, drive on a long straight road with multiple lanes (like a controlled-access highway) with easily visible lane markings for quicker and more accurate calibration. According to Tesla, “Clear Calibration may not resolve all camera and sensor concerns.”

How Long Does It Take to Calibrate the Cameras?

The blue ring around the Autopilot icon will show you the progress of your camera calibration
The blue ring around the Autopilot icon will show you the progress of your camera calibration
Not a Tesla App

First, you will not be able to use Full Self-Driving, Enhanced Autopilot, or Basic Autopilot. These will all be disabled while the cameras are recalibrated.

The steering wheel icon that previously showed whether Autopilot was engaged will now show a blue ring. As the vehicle gathers data and the software adjusts, the ring will adjust to show the calibration progress. Although it may take up to 100 miles of driving to calibrate your cameras, it's usually much quicker. To be safe, you should plan for the calibration process to take 2-3 hours of driving to complete.

Camera Calibration Stuck at 99%

The ring may get to 99% complete and then get 'stuck.' This is normal. Be patient and allow the car to complete the process. It will resolve itself and the vehicle will notify you when calibration is complete.

If after a few drives and more than 100 miles the recalibration is still stuck, contact Tesla to set up a service appointment. They’ll be able to determine whether the issue is software or hardware-related. Tesla may be able to diagnose your vehicle remotely and push an update to help fix any issues.

Why Do Cameras Need to be Calibrated?

The cameras placed strategically around the vehicle need to be aligned perfectly in order to function properly. Each video feed from the cameras is joined together to form a 360-degree view of the vehicle’s environment. If there's a gap between cameras or an extension overlap, it could cause the vehicle to not see certain areas or see "double." It’s like taking multiple pictures with your phone and then stitching them together. It’s how astronomers edit and stitch pictures together from the James Webb Space Telescope.

The calibration process doesn't actually move the cameras, but instead, it crops and adjusts each camera's feed so that the vehicle sees a single unified image. That’s why the slightest millimeter of miscalibration could cause issues.

What Does Recalibrating Tesla’s Cameras Fix?

Recalibrating the cameras in your Tesla may fix a number of things, including phantom braking, inability to properly detect surrounding objects, Autopilot faults, and various error messages.

Tesla states in their Model 3 instruction manual that a few limitations may cause Autopilot’s functionality to be limited. They include:

  • Poor visibility (due to heavy rain, snow, fog, etc.).
  • Bright light (due to oncoming headlights, direct sunlight, etc.).
  • Damage or obstructions caused by mud, ice, snow, etc.
  • Interference or obstruction by object(s) mounted onto the vehicle (such as a bike rack).
  • Obstruction caused by applying excessive paint or adhesive products (such as wraps, stickers, rubber coating, etc.) onto the vehicle.
  • Narrow or winding roads.
  • A damaged or misaligned body panel.
  • Use of gray or aftermarket glass.
  • Interference from other equipment that generates ultrasonic waves.
  • Extremely hot or cold temperatures.

If you've just received delivery of your Tesla, your vehicle may still be calibrating its cameras. Look for the blue ring around the Autopilot icon to see if your vehicle is still calibrating its cameras.

Hopefully, after recalibrating your cameras, the issues you were experiencing are fixed. Although recalibrating your cameras does not fix all issues, it's usually a good first step to try.

As always, if you continue to experience issues, you should schedule an appointment with Tesla service through the Tesla app.

A Better Routeplanner 5.0 Launches; Adds EV Charger Ratings Using Rivian Data

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

A Better Routeplanner 5.0 launched yesterday, and there are some pretty awesome features coming to all EV owners courtesy of Rivian. Rivian purchased ABRP last year and has made good on its promises to continue its improvement and ensure it remains open to all EV owners.

Charger Scoring

Rivian recently added a feature that would rate any chargers compatible with Rivian vehicles. The list of chargers includes Rivian Adventure Network (RAN) chargers, Tesla Superchargers and any other compatible third-party chargers. The charger score is automatically calculated based on the station's average top speed and reliability.

With the launch of ABRP 5.0, Rivian is integrating its charger scores directly into the free tier of ABRP so that all EV owners can benefit. ABRP users will now be able to see charger scores, and ABRP will automatically route users to chargers with higher scores if they are available on your route.

Google Automotive

Another cool feature for ABRP is that it will now be available as an app to install and use directly in vehicles that support Google Automotive. Any EV that uses Google Automotive, including Volvo,  Polestar, Ford, and GM will support the in-system experience, which will also provide data for charger scoring and routing.

This will be an excellent way to hold third-party networks accountable, which have commonly suffered from uptime or speed issues.

Tesla’s Implementation

Tesla previously implemented a “Qualified Third-Party Charger” program, that would allow highly-rated third-party chargers that meet a strict set of requirements to be displayed directly in the vehicle. However, this is currently limited to Europe and parts of the Middle East. Within North America, Tesla only displays third-party Tesla destination chargers in addition to Superchargers.

While Tesla doesn’t directly show charger scores, they clearly are tracking charge data, and are providing the cream of the crop of third-party chargers for navigation where the program is available. We’d hope that this implementation of qualified third-party chargers also comes to North America, as NACS is becoming the de facto standard for charging.

If Tesla does expand the display of third-party chargers to other regions, it’ll likely be similar to what we see in Europe today, and won’t be as open as Rivian’s implementation in ABRP.

Tesla Begins Testing FSD in China

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Tesla was recently granted permission to test FSD on Chinese streets – specifically in Shanghai. Just recently, Elon Musk visited China and discussed the potential for FSD to come to China.

Gearing Up for FSD China

This is just the first step for Tesla to begin its customer deployments of FSD – Tesla conducts similar ADAS testing in North America, where special testing vehicles and testing employees run the latest FSD (Supervised) versions against a gamut of real-world, real-life tests.

Tesla has recently been working on translating FSD release notes into multiple languages, alongside building a data center in Shanghai and establishing an FSD Operations and Labelling team at the same center. These are the first, key steps to bringing FSD to a new market that has unique and different traffic rules when compared North America.

China doesn’t have the regulatory hurdles or challenges that Tesla faces in Europe to bring FSD and has been working with Chinese corporations as well as the government, which has now provided its official approval for FSD testing in-country.

We might even see FSD deployed to early testing customers in China by the end of 2025.

ADAS Competitors

There are quite a few competitors in the Chinese market already- with challengers like Xpeng and Xiaomi working on building their own homegrown systems, mostly driven by a mixture of cameras, radars, ultrasonic sensors, and LIDAR. However, many of these systems face similar challenges to other non-Chinese competitors and don’t have the mileage under their belts to tackle Tesla’s dominating lead in data and data processing.

European Union

Tesla is poising itself for an FSD rollout internationally, with increased testing also taking place in the UK, France, and Spain – some of the key locations with unique infrastructure in the European Union. However, some EU-specific regulations restrict how FSD can perform – each and every action must be manually approved by the driver. Until that regulation is changed to adapt to systems like FSD, it won’t be making its way there just yet.

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