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.

Tesla Model 3's 2024 IIHS Safety Award Snub, While Model Y Shines

By Kevin Armstrong
Model Y Top Safety Pick
Model Y Top Safety Pick

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has once again raised the bar for vehicle safety in 2024, introducing more rigorous criteria to evaluate the protection vehicles offer to occupants and pedestrians alike. Amidst these enhanced standards, the Tesla Model Y stands out as a recipient of the prestigious Top Safety Pick+ award, affirming its position as a leader in automotive safety, a position it has held for years, also claiming last year’s title.

Innovative Safety Features

The 2024 Tesla Model Y has demonstrated outstanding performance across various safety tests, excelling in crashworthiness and crash avoidance capabilities. The vehicle earned the highest possible rating, 'Good'’ in all tested categories, including small and moderate overlap front tests, side impact tests, roof strength, and head restraint tests. Notably, Model Y's performance in the small overlap front test was particularly commendable, showcasing effective airbag deployment, well-maintained survival space for the dummy, and a low risk of significant injuries.

The Model Y has advanced safety features significantly contributing to its top-tier rating. Among these, automatic emergency braking stands out, displaying superior pedestrian detection and avoidance capabilities under daylight and nighttime conditions. Additionally, the vehicle's LED projector headlights received high praise for their illumination quality, ensuring optimal visibility without causing glare to oncoming traffic. Lars Moravy, VP of Vehicle Engineering at Tesla, explains why the company’s vehicles are so safe.

Recognizing the importance of safety for passengers of all ages, the Tesla Model Y's LATCH system for child seat anchors was rated 'Acceptable.'’ This reflects the vehicle’s commitment to accommodating families and enhancing safety for younger passengers, highlighting the ease of use and accessibility of the anchors.

Absence of Model 3

While the Tesla Model Y has proudly secured its place among the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's (IIHS) Top Safety Pick+ awardees for 2024, the Model 3 was noticeably absent from this prestigious list. The reason behind this, as reported by Teslarati, sheds light on the stringent criteria set by IIHS and the potential for future inclusion of Model 3.

Historically, the Model 3 was honored with the Top Safety Pick+ award in 2020, 2021, and 2022 but was notably missing in 2023 and 2024. Joe Young of the IIHS explained to Teslarati the reason behind this absence: the Model 3 has yet to be evaluated in the institute's updated side crash test and lacks a rating in the updated moderate overlap crash test—both critical components of the award criteria for this year.

This lack of current evaluations means the IIHS cannot consider the Model 3 for either safety award at this time. However, it's not a definitive exclusion. The IIHS is open to recognizing the 2024 Model 3 later in the year as additional tests are completed and ratings are updated.

Tesla’s engineering focus on creating the safest vehicles in the world is evident, with an extremely low chance of roll-over and occupant injury, positioning the Model Y as the best-selling car globally and among the safest on the road.

Musk Provides Update on Tesla Roadster and Announces New Specs; Deliveries in 2025

By Kevin Armstrong
Roadster Closer to Reality
Roadster Closer to Reality

In a series of posts on X, Elon Musk stirred up some late-night excitement, offering tantalizing details about the new Tesla Roadster. Musk reached back to posts from 2018 to update his 374 million followers on X with the latest progress, suggesting that Tesla is on the brink of unveiling a vehicle that promises to redefine the boundaries of the automotive industry again.

Tonight, we radically increased the design goals for the new Tesla Roadster. There will never be another car like this, if you could even call it a car. -Elon Musk

A Leap Toward the Future

Musk kicked off the series of posts by returning to old Twitter posts from June 2018 when he announced that the Roadster would come with a SpaceX option package featuring around ten small rocket thrusters, hints at capabilities far beyond traditional sports cars. These thrusters are expected to dramatically enhance acceleration, top speed, braking, and cornering, with Musk going as far as teasing the possibility of flight.

Beyond Boundaries & Timelines

In 2018, Musk reflected on his automotive journey, from choosing a McLaren F1 over a house in Palo Alto. He updated that tweet by posting you will love the new Roadster more than your house. There’s no telling what happened behind closed doors, but with Cybertruck now out the door, several bright, creative engineers have moved to the next challenge, and given Musk’s posts, there has been a significant breakthrough.

Musk confidently states that there will never be another car like this, challenging the very definition of what a car can be. Completing the production design and announcing an unveiling by the end of the year set a clear timeline for its anticipated debut, matching what was predicated at a recent earnings call.

Collaboration and Innovation

The collaboration between Tesla and SpaceX symbolizes a fusion of automotive and aerospace technologies, promising a product demo that could be the most mind-blowing of all time. Musk's assertion that the Roadster could achieve a 0-60 mph time of less than one second—remarkably stated as the "least interesting part" sets unprecedented expectations for performance.

A Brief History and What We Know

Initially earmarked for a 2021 release, the Roadster's journey to production has been met with delays. Despite this, Musk has remained steadfast that this promised vehicle will not only shatter performance records but also redefine what electric cars are capable of.

Tesla's ambition for the Roadster is clear: to create the fastest production car in the world. With a target 0 to 60 mph acceleration time of under 1.9 seconds and a top speed exceeding 250 mph, the Roadster is poised to outperform even the most advanced sports cars, including Tesla's own Model S Plaid. Slave Popovski created a cool simulation animation of a drag race between the Standard Tesla Roadster and the SpaceX thruster version. He states that thrusters are only on for 1.1 seconds, and he uses motion physics to simulate online figures.

The Roadster's engineering marvel extends to its range and battery efficiency. Equipped with a 200 kWh battery pack, it aims to set a new standard with a range of up to 620 miles on a single charge.

Previously, we’ve heard numbers for a base model starting at around $200,000; the Roadster is positioned as a premium offering in the EV market. The limited-edition Founder's Series and the SpaceX Package will cater to enthusiasts and collectors, highlighting the Roadster's exclusivity.

As Tesla prepares for the most mind-blowing product demo of all time, Elon Musk's vision for the new Tesla Roadster is not just about creating another electric vehicle but pushing the limits of what's possible. With its groundbreaking design, unparalleled performance, and the hint of aerospace-inspired technology, the Roadster is shaping up to be a milestone in automotive history. With its groundbreaking design, unparalleled performance, and the hint of aerospace-inspired technology, the Roadster is shaping to be a milestone in automotive history.

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