A Tesla Model 3 has been spotted near the automaker’s headquarters testing an interesting setup of cameras and sensors.
Driving around the Bay Area in California, it is not uncommon to spot test vehicles out in the wild getting some real-world data using prototype hardware. Sometimes that hardware isn’t very obvious unless you know to look for the manufacturer plates used by the automaker.
What are those!?!#Tesla #Prototype #ModelY pic.twitter.com/3ro60Wm8Gt
— The Kilowatts 🚗⚡️ (@klwtts) September 28, 2020
Other times the Tesla owned vehicles are easier to spot, even if you don’t know Tesla is issued their own plates.
Interesting cameras on these #Tesla's with manufacturers plates. According to someone who chatted with the driver at a Supercharger, they "are for additional learning for the full self driving roll out." Have you heard of/seen these before @greentheonly? (Images via FB). pic.twitter.com/0b12bMKZVE
— Drive Tesla 🇨🇦 #FSDBetaCanada (@DriveTeslaca) June 10, 2020
This weekend another test vehicle was spotted just a few miles from the automaker’s headquarters in Palo Alto with a setup we haven’t seen before.
Spotted by Everything-Electric, the red Model 3 was equipped with manufacturer plates and what appears to be at least two cameras and an exposed circuit board mounted to the front windshield.
While it is tough to know what exactly this setup is for, Tesla could be using it to test new cameras and sensors. All of the cameras on current vehicles, with the exception of the rear camera, use Aptina image sensors. Those are the same ones that have been used since Tesla released their current suite of Autopilot hardware in 2016.
When it comes to technology, five years is a very long time between hardware upgrades.
According to Everything-Electric, the test vehicle was occupied by three Tesla employees. Once they spotted him taking some pictures of the car, the driver attempted to avoid more being taken by making what was referred to as a “quick maneuver” to get away.
What do you think Tesla is testing here? Let us know in the comments below.