Tesla is busy testing several different Cybertruck prototypes ahead of a full-scale production later this summer. This week, a Tesla Semi prototype and a Cybertruck were spotted in California with big new LiDAR sensors strapped to the front. Still, we’re not expecting LiDAR on the production model.
In 2021, Tesla ditched LiDAR (light detection and range) sensors in favor of its camera systems and “Tesla Vision” for self-driving, autopilot, and other features. So, why is Tesla testing LiDAR sensors on the Cybertruck and Semi?
Well, we’re not entirely sure, but Tesla has previously mentioned it uses LiDAR to help calibrate its own technology. According to Electrek, this will likely confirm data gathered from Tesla’s self-driving and autopilot sensors and systems.
The automaker regularly tests and compares its technologies against others, not to mention uses that data to further calibrate any sensors, sonar, and radar systems for upcoming vehicles. If LiDAR works so great, why did Tesla abandon it?
Late last year, information emerged about Tesla’s new “HD Radar” system and patent, which could introduce new high-definition radar to its upcoming vehicles. We know the company is preparing its new self-driving computers (HW4.0) and could debut a redesigned Model 3 in the coming months. Maybe we’ll see both on the new Model 3.
Either way, these prototypes with LiDAR are probably nothing more than Tesla’s never-ending testing phase for current and upcoming electric vehicles.