First look: Tesla Vision Park Assist arrives for non-FSD Beta cars [2023.6.9]

Tesla has started rolling out a new software update (2023.6.9) to non Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta cars that enables the ability to measure distances to nearby objects using only the vehicle’s cameras. This feature was first spotted in the code of FSD Beta v11.3.2 last week, but this is the first time we have actually seen it in action.

A little over six months after Tesla decided to remove ultrasonic sensors (USS) from its vehicles. The change didn’t go over well with new owners as the cars could no longer measure how far away you were from the wall as you pulled into your garage, or into a parking spot at the mall. At the time Tesla said some features, like Park Assist distance measurements, would be “unavailable for a short period” as it transitioned to a vision-based solution.

That transition period has now ended with the release of 2023.6.9. According to the release notes Tesla Vision Park Assist “uses the occupancy network to predict high-definition outlines of objects 360 degrees around the car.” The big change between the USS version of Park Assist and the vision based solution is the last part of that sentence in that it measures all the way around the vehicle, whereas USS Park Assist only measures where there are sensors – the front and the rear.

One of the outstanding questions about a vision based solution was how accurate it was going to be, especially when there are camera blind spots. So far the reviews are mixed. One owner who was in the first wave of the release pulled out a tape measure and the Tesla Vision measurement appeared to be short by about two inches.

Then there were others, like Twitter user D.J who said they were “not even close to USS measurements.” Unfortunately the user did not provide any more context than this one picture.

From what we have seen so far Tesla Vision Park Assist is more “jumpy” than the USS based version. In cars equipped with USS the distance measurements move smoothly up or down as you get closer or move away from an object. In contract the vision-based estimate can quickly jump 2-3 inches with barely any movement of the vehicle.

We should be seeing more in-depth tests of Tesla Vision Park Assist in the coming days to get a better sense of how accurate (or inaccurate) it actually is.

The one good thing about this switch is that the feature should improve over time as more Tesla owners install the feature and begin using it. Tesla should be able to take all the data to make improvements to the distance estimates, with the eventual goal of making it just as accurate as with sensors.

2023.6.9 Release Notes

Park Assist
Autopilot Improvements

Tesla Vision Park Assist provides visual and audio alerts of surrounding objects. This feature uses the occupancy network to predict high-definition outlines of objects 360 degrees around the car.

Note: Tesla Vision Park Assist is for guidance purposes only and is not a substitute for an aware driver. Please be attentive and avoid obstacles as required.

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