Better safety through radar

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Safety is what I want most from my Cyber Truck. (I want all the other great features too.) Therefore I want it to see what I can’t see with my eyes that could keep me safe when human vision can’t detect what is happening. The Cyber Truck should see in/through the fog, through the spray of water that comes up from a semi or other vehicles on the rainy crapy roads and freeways of the pacific northwest. I want it to see through the snow flying up from behind another vehicle so common in winter in cold climates like Montana etc. In order to do this it needs some kind of active vision like radar or lidar. If the FSD only works in fair weather I can do that, I want my amazing machine to do what I can’t do. To rely only on regular cameras is limiting. Unless Tesla can tell me otherwise that their camera can see through fog etc I want it to have radar or something to see what human vision can’t.

 

TheLastStarfighter

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Radar doesn’t work well in precipitation. That’s why when you want to drive fast, fog is your friend!
 

JBee

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Although I can see why going for a pure visual system for FSD makes sense because of the lack of radar accuracy and snsor certainty I still believe that sensors should be as full spectrum as they can so long they stay useful. Humans should be augmented in every way possible whilst undertaking operations that are known to be with risk.

A bit like picking up something hot wearing mittens. I still think the radar delete was also supply related somehow.
 

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Radar doesn’t work well in precipitation. That’s why when you want to drive fast, fog is your friend!
Lidar?

Radar may or may not work okay in rain.

The problem with radar is that it's weird, compared to sight. It bounces around, it goes through lots of things like people, etc. You're trying to detect the world through something that finds much of the world varying levels of transparent and refractive.

-Crissa
 


TheLastStarfighter

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Lidar?

Radar may or may not work okay in rain.

The problem with radar is that it's weird, compared to sight. It bounces around, it goes through lots of things like people, etc. You're trying to detect the world through something that finds much of the world varying levels of transparent and refractive.

-Crissa
Radar. Precipitation interferes with radar.
 

Jhodgesatmb

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It is hard to imagine anyone that wants an unsafe vehicle, just as it is hard to imagine anyone not caring whether an automated driver can accommodate the conditions you describe. So what's the point? Clearly 'we' have no say in what Tesla does with its FSD suite, and we have no idea what is on the plate or the implementation order. We will simply have to wait and see.
 

ajdelange

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Radar. Precipitation interferes with radar.
Well certainly raindrops are like little targets and so introduce "clutter" but over the years engineers have come up with lots of ways to combat clutter. As I recall (and it has indeed been a while) simply going to circular polarization minimizes rain clutter. Also rain drops don't scatter or reflect electromagnetic energy that has wavelength longer than the diameter of the raindrop. Rain has characteristic doppler spectrum and can be discriminated against on that basis. And who knows what else they have come up with since I got out of the radar biz.
 
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Eltric Work&Fun

Eltric Work&Fun

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Should it work in conditions where it’s not very safe for humans? I’d say absolutely yes. That is the whole point of technology to expand what a human can do.

Back in the mid 80s I saw a demonstration of Lidar that was amazing. This company had built a system that could see objects at various distances through a sand storm or any other particle storm such as fog or rain! It did this by pulsing a lazer at high Hz then looking at the reflection at different times to see what light was bounced back therefore seeing what was out there and exactly its distance and bearing. The sensor was really the heart of the system but it was all proprietary. They shared how the sensor worked too. They shared an amazing amount of the tech. And I was surprised it was not rated Secret by the DOD. At the time I worked for a defense contractor in SoCal but this demo was at an astronomy club meeting! I could sure see lots of applications for this tech like seeing the enemy under heavy forest canopy as you fly over dropping Simi autonomous munitions.

This system had many other applications such as seeing in frequencies the human eye can’t see but that’s another story.

Bottom line is if Tesla had a system like that, there would be no need for radar. It would be totally awesome. But alas if the current system is running into parked emergency vehicles it’s not so good at range finding. Elon says 10 times safer than a human driver. So what will they do that detects range and what an object is?
 


Crissa

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Bottom line is if Tesla had a system like that, there would be no need for radar. It would be totally awesome. But alas if the current system is running into parked emergency vehicles it’s not so good at range finding. Elon says 10 times safer than a human driver. So what will they do that detects range and what an object is?
The other problem with radar - in contrast with lidar - is that it sees differences in speed as edges. So that stopped emergency vehicle looks the same as a signpost, wall, tree, overpass. Once it occludes enough of the view to be specifically a range-finding is too late to brake from highway speed.

Vision and lidar are better at giving exact range finding results fixed to the relative world.

-Crissa
 

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I think there is a big problem with combining different types of sensors. I think most of us would agree camera vision is better at sensing the road environment (signs, stoplights, lane lines, etc.), and lidar / radar could exceed camera vision in adverse visual conditions (bad weather). But you have to remember that lidar and radar generate massive amounts of data, and the data is absolutely filled with noise. That noise has to be interpreted with something akin to the AI that is currently interpreting Tesla's visual camera data. It's just a huge extra computing cost to add, and even more likely for the AI to misinterpret that data.

And what would be the real benefit of adding lidar/radar to the current camera vision? Maybe the camera doesn't detect a moose crossing the road in the distance through fog, but the radar does. In this situation the computer/AI needs to decide which sensor to trust. If there's really a moose there, we'd be happy for it to trust the radar and not the cameras. But if there isn't really a moose there, and the radar was picking up a bunch of leaves blowing across the road, you'd be pissed for the car to slam on the brakes and potentially cause an accident.

So it's not as simple as "more sensors leads to better capabilities." Rather, "more sensors leads to more noise, and more ambiguous conflicts for the AI".

It took me a while to get there, but I'm firmly in the visual-only camp.
 

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There is a fundamental question, should the vehicle operate in conditions unsafe for a driver to operate a vehicle?
Good question.

In beta mode, the driver needs to stay in control of the vehicle. So, it stands to reason if the car is seeing through fog, and the driver can't, then he is no longer in control… and the car should not drive.

For those who know, in Beta FSD, does the car currently take full control in a fog?
 

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In fact, some versions of the FSD Beta have even refused to function in deep darkness.
I guess FSD is not a fan of the movie Apocolypse Now. Or the book Heart of Darkness.

 

 
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