Tesla has begun delivering the Semi truck. However, PepsiCo and Tesla drivers have to forgo driver-assist features like Autopilot and Full Self-Driving. This is despite the truck being equipped with an array of cameras. But it seems Tesla is testing a different imaging hardware system as a Semi sporting LiDAR hardware was seen in Palo Alto by our friends over at The Kilowatts.
On closer inspection, the hardware mounted at the electric Semi’s hood was a 6D road lidar from Xenomatix.
— The Kilowatts 🚗⚡️ (@klwtts) February 16, 2023
Cross-checking with information on the company’s website confirms that the device works for scanning and surveying. Here is Xenomatix’s description of the gadget:
“XenomatiX uses the 6D road lidar to measure and collect high-precision and up-to-date data of road networks or sections requested by the customer. The data collected includes raw digitized road data including surface damages, surface conditions as well as road markings. The data is collected using a true solid-state lidar sensor XenoTrack mounted on any vehicle. Any road can be digitized from community road, national road, highway but also harbor quays, airport runways, and even off-road. Depending on the required usage of the data, different formats and further analyses are offered.” (via Teslarati)
Last August, a Cybertruck was spotted with the same imaging device on the hood. Speculation at the time suggested Tesla was using it to finalize the positioning of the pickup truck’s cameras, so it stands to reason that Tesla is performing similar tests with the Semi to confirm what its cameras are seeing and its computer is estimating with those multiple views, before adding Autopilot to the fleet.
can I borrow that pic.twitter.com/bZXuSktPN1
— Whole Mars Catalog (@WholeMarsBlog) August 27, 2022
A Tesla Model Y equipped with lidar was spotted in Canada last March. That vehicle was being used for “ground-truthing” ahead of the release of FSD Beta in Canada.
Tesla caused a stir when it removed radar from its new cars last year. However, a couple of registrations with the FCC suggest the hardware is making a comeback with Hardware 4.0 (HW4).