Tesla Guide: Number of Cameras, Their Locations, Uses and How To View Them

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla's cameras around placed strategically around the vehicle
Tesla's cameras around placed strategically around the vehicle

In Tesla's mission to shape the future of sustainable transportation, a pivotal part is played by its camera systems. Designed to enhance safety, enable autonomous features, and provide security against threats, these cameras have evolved significantly over the years.

The Evolution of Tesla's Camera Systems: From MobileEye to Hardware 4

Tesla's journey with integrating cameras into their vehicles started post-2014. The early models with the Autopilot 1 (AP1) system used technology from MobileEye, a leader in Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS).

However, with the arrival of the Model 3 and Model Y and the 2021 redesigned Model S and Model X, the game changed. All these models now feature nine cameras. Fast forward to 2023, some models are now equipped with Hardware 4.0 (HW4), which have eight higher resolution cameras, and reduce the front-facing cameras to two.

Front Cameras

Teslas have three front-facing cameras with HW3 and two with HW 4
Teslas have three front-facing cameras with HW3 and two with HW 4

The front cameras are located at the top of the windshield. They consist of a camera with a typical lens, a wide-angle lens, and a telephoto lens. The telephoto camera can see up to 250 meters ahead according to Tesla, ideal for high-speed Autopilot use, while the main lens covers 150 meters. In addition, the wide-angle lens gives a panoramic-like view for navigation at complex intersections and tight curves.

Rear View Camera

The rearview camera is positioned above the license plate. It provides a view of up to 50 meters behind the vehicle, assisting with parking, reverse driving and reverse automatic emergency braking.

Fender Cameras

Teslas contain a camera on each fender that points toward the rear of the vehicle at about a 45° angle. This allows the vehicle to see vehicles to its side and help monitor the vehicle's blind spots.

These cameras can also be viewed by the driver when using Tesla's blind spot monitor feature, or by enabling the side cameras while in reverse, which displays the reverse camera feed, along with the fender or 'repeater' cameras.

B-Pillar Cameras

Tesla vehicles also include two other side cameras that are found on the B-pillar. Instead of aiming backward like the repeater cameras, these cameras are aimed toward the front of the vehicle. This allows them to capture areas in the front half of the vehicle. These cameras aid with intersections, parking and more. Unfortunately, the video from these cameras can only be viewed while the vehicle is parked and by going to Controls > Service and tapping on 'Preview Cameras'.

Cabin Camera

All current Tesla models include a cabin camera. The camera is located above the rearview mirror and monitors driver attentiveness, especially when Autopilot is in use. You can view the cabin camera onscreen by navigating to Controls > Service > Preview Cabin Camera. You can also view it through the Tesla app if Sentry Mode is enabled and Sentry Mode Live Access is available in your region.

Future Bumper Camera

Looking ahead, newer Tesla models are expected to feature a bumper camera, as seen in the Cybertruck prototypes. Additionally, with hardware 4.0, the cameras have a higher resolution and an anti-glare coating for enhanced visibility.

Functionality Unveiled: The Multifaceted Uses of Tesla's Cameras

Tesla's cameras play a vital role in the advanced features the vehicles are known for. Their primary use is for the Autopilot system and active safety features like Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB). Furthermore, Sentry Mode and Dashcam features use cameras to record potential threats when parked and on the road. In newer models, the cabin camera monitors driver attentiveness to ensure safety during Autopilot use.

View, Access and Calibrate

Tesla now lets you preview all cameras included in your vehicle
Tesla now lets you preview all cameras included in your vehicle

While driving, you can access the rear and fender cameras through the center display. To test or preview other cameras, you can navigate to Controls > Service > Preview Cameras, and then select the camera you'd like to preview at the top of the screen. In addition, through the Tesla app, remote viewing capabilities are available for five of the vehicle's cameras, including the front-facing camera, fender cameras, rear camera, and cabin camera.

If you're noticing issues with your vehicle's cameras, Tesla provides the ability to calibrate them. It's a simple process initiated from the vehicle's touchscreen, although certain features like Autopilot will be unavailable until the process completes.

Confidentiality in Focus: Tesla's Data Privacy Measures

Tesla takes data privacy seriously. For example, the cabin camera doesn't save or transmit data unless data sharing is enabled in your car's settings. For Sentry Mode and Dashcam footage, data is stored locally and can be accessed only by the owner.

Tesla's advanced camera systems play an integral role in enhancing vehicle safety, providing driver-assist features, and creating a robust security layer. However, understanding the function and usage of these cameras is essential for maximizing the benefits. With Tesla continuously innovating, exciting enhancements, like bumper cameras and upgraded hardware, lie on the horizon, promising to take vehicular safety and autonomy to the next level.

Tesla's Supercharger Team Shakeup: Firings, Rehiring, and Future Prospects

By Karan Singh

Tesla recently fired the entire Supercharger team, including Tesla’s head of charging – Rebecca Tinucci, after she pushed back on the extreme layoffs that took place right before the cut.

The Supercharger team consisted of over 500 employees, at least after the initial layoffs. In the following days and weeks, Tesla began to rehire some of the employees that it had fired.

Some Damage Done

In the immediate aftermath of the firing of the Supercharger team, contractors and site planners were left bewildered, with no contact from the Supercharger team that was responsible for payment, planning, and decision-making.

As this has played out, new Supercharger deployments have been reduced – stations that were already being built are being completed, but no new announcements have been made since t

It was dire news at the time - but it isn’t all bad.

Returning Employees

Now, more and more of the employees that were fired are beginning to return to Tesla, some of whom are announcing that they were asked to return to Tesla in their previous capacities.

George Bahadue, Senior Manager of Site Acquisition and Business Development commented on LinkedIn:

“Two weeks ago, I was asked to return to Tesla in my previous capacity heading up the business development and site acquisition for Tesla charging – I accepted.”

His reasoning to accept the position was a quote from Rebecca Tinucci:

“You work at Tesla because you hope to have at least a small impact on our collective future – aspirationally, to leave the world better for our children and grandchildren and their children and grandchildren – by accelerating the transition to sustainable energy. And that mission is too important to allow any distractions.”

New Stations Could be Coming Soon

With the restaffing of the Supercharger team, especially with the return of George Bahadue, we can expect that new Supercharger sites may be announced in the coming weeks, as the ripple effect from the layoffs begins to settle.

The rehiring of experienced staff suggests that Tesla and Elon Musk are still committed to the vision of maintaining and expanding its Supercharger network – the largest and most reliable charging network in North America, which is crucial for the mission to move the world to renewable energy.

Tesla Cuts Model Y Output in China – Economic Slowdown and Anticipated Project Juniper Launch

By Karan Singh

Tesla recently cut Model Y output in China, according to data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), Tesla’s production of the Model Y in China experienced a decline of approximately 18% in March, and 33% in April, versus the same time last year.

Output Cuts

These output cuts can be attributed to Tesla’s recent decision to reduce production of the Model Y at Giga Shanghai by at least 20% from March to June 2024. This was attributed to an unnamed Spokesperson by Reuters last week.

This decision could be multifaceted – the primary reason being an economic slowdown in China as price wars continue to be waged between EV manufacturers, including Tesla. On the flipside, Tesla has continued its production of the updated 2024 Model 3, colloquially referred to as the Highland, with an increase of 10%.

Project Juniper?

The second reason for this slowdown could be the incoming arrival of the Model Y refresh – also known as Project Juniper. Tesla China has already introduced an updated Model Y with a unique cloth dash with similar ambient lighting as the Model 3.

The Model 3 Highland was also introduced in China before its introduction to other markets, including North America and Europe.

Juniper Upgrade Speculation

Not much has been seen about Project Juniper at this time, but we can expect a similar suite of upgrades that match the updated 2024 Model 3 Highland – including a new front fascia design, updated doors and dynamics, steering updates, improved control arms, ambient lighting, new seats, and improved range.

There is a continued expectation that Tesla is pushing back its Model Y refresh – its best-selling vehicle – to make a bigger splash. This could include newer features – like the Cybertruck’s Steer-by-Wire, front camera, or other upgrades and changes – like the lack of stalks on the rest of the Tesla line-up.

Tesla previously confirmed we’re not seeing the Juniper Y this year, this could be the time needed to retool and upgrade lines to prepare for its introduction sometime next year.

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