Tesla has finally implemented a vision-based solution to bring back Park Assist distance measurements to cars without ultrasonic sensors (USS). Tesla removed the sensors, and the ability to measure distances to nearby objects, last year.
On October 4, 2022 Tesla announced they were removing USS from the Model 3 and Model Y (and later the S/X) in a shift to their camera-based Autopilot system known as Tesla Vision. While the automaker explained this change was made to coincide with the launch of the vision-based occupancy network, the corresponding software to measure distances to nearby objects wasn’t complete, leaving owners of cars without USS to guesstimate how close they were to the car in front of them (or behind) when parking.
It looked like the lack of distance measurements was going to be short lived as software code was detected soon after, but it remained dormant, presumably operating in shadow mode in the background to gather data and refine the feature, until the release of 2022.45.11.
The release, which includes the latest FSD Beta v11.3.2, rolled out late last night. For those cars without USS, the update also included Tesla Vision Park Assist, according to hacker @greentheonly.
Looks like 2022.44.11 includes the new vision autopark for USS-less cars:— green (@greentheonly) March 19, 2023
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. pic.twitter.com/IdqwaGuzE2
Based on the image and the wording in the release notes shared by green, the vision based Park Assist also measures distances to objects on the sides of the vehicle where there are no USS. The red/orange line that is usually only at the front and rear of the vehicle now extends down the sides, with Tesla explaining in the release notes it detects objects 360° around the car.
This software version is still in a very limited release, and only on cars testing FSD Beta. According to green this update also only applies to cars without USS, and cars with USS are not having their sensors disabled. We can confirm this as our 2019 Model 3 received 2022.45.11 and our release notes did not have this feature. This may change in the future however, just like what happened when Tesla turned off radar in cars equipped with that hardware.
Given its limited release to FSD Beta testers it will likely still be a while until we see it deployed to the entire fleet, but at least we now know a solution is on the horizon.