Tesla removes ultrasonic sensors from new Model 3/Y builds, soon Model S/X [Update]

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Credit: Tesla

After removing radar from their vehicles over the last year in a shift to their camera-based Autopilot system known as Tesla Vision, Tesla is now also removing ultrasonic sensors from new Model 3 and Model Y builds.

Tesla explains this change was made to coincide with the launch of the vision-based occupancy network, which allows them to replace the inputs generated by the sensors. Additional details of this occupancy network, which until now was limited to Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta, were shared by Tesla’s Director of Autopilot software Ashok Elluswamy earlier this summer.

The ultrasonic sensors were primarily used to measure the distance to nearby objects using ultrasonic waves, like when parking your vehicle.

In an update to the Tesla Support page, the automaker says the removal of the sensors will begin in early October 2022 for Model 3 and Model Y built for North America, Europe, Middle East and Taiwan.

The change will take place globally over the next few months, before shifting to include the flagship Model S and Model X vehicles in 2023. (h/t: @Space_Taz)

If you are taking delivery soon, Tesla says you will be able to tell if your car has the sensors by looking for the little circles on the front and rear bumpers.

UPDATE 1:20pm PDT: Tesla has updated the Design Studio to no longer show the sensors on front and rear bumpers on all models, including the S/X.

UPDATE 1:31pm PDT: Thanks to one of our sources, here is a first look at the new Model Y bumper with no sensors. (second update: added a second picture)
UPDATE Oct 6 11:25am PDT: Added a picture of the rear bumper.

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While the transition occurs, Tesla says Park Assist, Autopark, Summon, and Smart Summon will be temporarily limited or inactive. All other features will remain fully functional.

This is similar to how when Tesla removed radar, some features were limited or inactive until Tesla could fully verify their optimal operation within the fleet.

Tesla has improved but not yet fully restored those features, and they plan to follow the same pattern with this rollout.

“In the near future, once these features achieve performance parity to today’s vehicles, they will be restored via a series of over-the-air software updates. All other available Autopilot, Enhanced Autopilot and Full Self-Driving capability features will be active at delivery, depending on order configuration,” Tesla explains.

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