Anyone else concerned about fog without radar?

jhogan2424

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I was searching the forums for info regarding the recent removal of radar and I found a post from January of this year titled ”Tesla Files to use new millimeter-wave radar on FSD cars“ that shows without a doubt that Tesla was still working on improving and planning to use radar at that point only a couple months before parts became unavailable and they dropped the radar in favor of cameras. I am having a hard time accepting that cameras can work as well as radar in fog. I have a unique situation where I live in the hills with elevation changes and winding curves that causes us to have fog probably 50 days/year that can last from a few hours in the mornings to the entire day and even for days in a row occasionally. It is not uncommon to have only a few car lengths of visibility. A lot of times this fog will force me to drive 20 mph or less in a 50 mph zone because i simply can not see through fog and don’t want to rear end someone driving even slower. This of course increases the chance of someone rear ending me also. The dangers of thick fog are obvious. Does anyone have any info on the performance of cameras in these conditions? Did Tesla remove the ultrasonic sensors too and if not could they be effective at any useful distance in fog? Is there a chance CT will include radar? I know this is a situation that doesn’t have a big affect on most buyers and of course I don’t expect Tesla to be able to address every niche situation but it’s something I am concerned about nonetheless. It just seems that such an advanced and safe vehicle would include a feature that could help so much in fog, snow, etc.
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Ogre

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From what I understand, the vision based autopilot already outperforms people in fog.

If you can't see ahead, it's a safe bet that nobody else on the road can see you. Having a truck bombing down the road like some kind of invisible missile isn't safe either.

If someone rear ends you in the fog, it's because they are going an unsafe speed. You joining them at an unsafe speed doesn't make things safer.
 
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jhogan2424

jhogan2424

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From what I understand, the vision based autopilot already outperforms people in fog.

If you can't see ahead, it's a safe bet that nobody else on the road can see you. Having a truck bombing down the road like some kind of invisible missile isn't safe either.

If someone rear ends you in the fog, it's because they are going an unsafe speed. You joining them at an unsafe speed doesn't make things safer.
Of course not, but pulling over onto the narrow shoulder waiting on better conditions creates another hazard. And other people’s speed and driving habits can not be controlled by me. I do not want to drive in the fog and limit that as much as practical but sometimes it is necessary. I’m just saying it seems a radar sensor is a valuable asset in poor visibility and many other conditions where cameras probably will not work. For example when a car in front of you suddenly slams on brakes due to a traffic pileup, radar would almost certainly see through the car in front of you and begin slowing your vehicle before the car in front of you ever started braking. It is impossible for a vision camera to do that no matter how advanced the software.
 

ajdelange

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Yes, I am. I got caught in a pea souper one morning in Pa and it was a comfort to be able to see the vehicles in front of me on the driver display even if I couldn't see them with my eyes

I also remember a talk Musk gave in which he talked about how dumb Lidar was because it works in the NIR and can't see through fog whereas radar can.
 
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jhogan2424

jhogan2424

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Yes Sir I remember him saying that. Is radar for certain being phased out of all Tesla’s or is the recent removal from the model 3 and Y just an experiment? I know it would be hard for them to back track after saying the camera based system was adequate but I’m hoping they see the value of the radar and somehow gracefully fall back to using it.
 

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The milimeter-wave patent was for the inside of the cabin, to detect life signs.

Most radar - and the stuff they were using outside - is very poor resolution. That's one of the big problems with it. That's what makes an overhead sign or overpass look like an overturned truck or vice versa. The other is that all objects traveling the same relative speed look alike to radar. So that pavement you're on, the jersey barrier next to you, and the car perfectly at the same speed all look the same. As you match the speed of the car ahead of you, it literally vanishes from the radar image.

Lidar doesn't have this issue, but different ones instead. It's expensive, has low resolution and too much at the same time; and it's exactly the kind of math computers are bad at. It's also doubly affected by fog as vision based scanning. And you have to do all the vision stuff anyhow, so it's duplicate.

-Crissa
 

John K

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Not concerned, there is a time lag with radar and visual inputs reconciling data. In extreme visual impairment, speeds are slowed to distance and reaction time ability.

I came into fog that I could only drive 5 mph. A car traveling in the opposite direction speed was similar. By the time we passed each other, it turned out to be a patrol car. If I was going faster, I would be ticketed for reckless driving.

There are some conditions you should pull over Safely. If there is no safe space, creeping along is needed.

Plus, the camera and processing power determines more detail than we can see.
 
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jhogan2424

jhogan2424

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If the radar was a free option are you guys saying you would turn it down? I‘m just not going to believe a vision camera can recognize a stopped vehicle in the middle of a foggy road anywhere near as far away as a radar. I’m not drinking that koolaid. If the radar is not offered I will still buy the truck but I would much prefer it be equipped with the radar. Just because Tesla says it’s as good doesn’t make it true. I believe they abandoned the radar because of parts shortage and wanted to keep delivering vehicles. They say they were already planning to do this and I’m sure they were but it was almost certainly for cost savings and simplicity but not because vision was better than radar.
 

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I‘m sure the cameras outperform people, but I’m wondering how they could possibly outperform radar.
Do they need to?

Should the truck be driving faster than line of sight would permit regardless?

If you are moving beyond line of sight in the fog then it becomes impossible for non-radar equipped vehicles, pedestrians, or cyclists to travel safely.
 

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If the radar was a free option are you guys saying you would turn it down?
It was a free option in my Model Y.

Soon is is going to be a free, pointless chunk of hardware in my car because Tesla is switching to 100% vision based autopilot.

I'm not concerned about it because I didn't buy "Radar", I bought autopilot. So long as it does the job it's hired to do, I don't care how Tesla does it. So far we have quite a few cars on the road with vision only autopilot. Has there been an increase in accidents with autopilot in control since then?

Some of the nastiest autopilot incidents have involved vehicles with radar.
 

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Depending on what the FSD cameras are capable of, the lack of radar doesn't concern me. Even just using polarized lenses you get decent fog and haze penetration. If the cameras can use IR and other spectra, then it's no problem.
 

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If the radar was a free option are you guys saying you would turn it down? I‘m just not going to believe a vision camera can recognize a stopped vehicle in the middle of a foggy road anywhere near as far away as a radar. I’m not drinking that koolaid. If the radar is not offered I will still buy the truck but I would much prefer it be equipped with the radar. Just because Tesla says it’s as good doesn’t make it true. I believe they abandoned the radar because of parts shortage and wanted to keep delivering vehicles. They say they were already planning to do this and I’m sure they were but it was almost certainly for cost savings and simplicity but not because vision was better than radar.
There is a reconciliation of data delay between the two where radar’s information proved the lesser during the process.

which should the system ignore or use? With the current tech, visual development is greater of the two.

Forget the tech used, do you wish the system to be safer and more responsive?.
 
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jhogan2424

jhogan2424

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Do they need to?

Should the truck be driving faster than line of sight would permit regardless?
Does your model X need to go 150mph or 0 to 60 in 3 seconds? You shouldn’t be driving faster than the speed limit permits regardless. Would you be ok with limiting speed to 80mph and 0 to 60 in 10 seconds?
 

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Does your model X need to go 150mph or 0 to 60 in 3 seconds? You shouldn’t be driving faster than the speed limit permits regardless. Would you be ok with limiting speed to 80mph and 0 to 60 in 10 seconds?
You say this, but you probably don't want my actual opinion on that.
 
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