Bird’s eye view coming in a future Tesla software update: Elon Musk

Another highly requested feature by owners will soon make its way into Tesla vehicles – a bird’s eye camera view.

Many cars available on the market today come with multiple cameras that surround the vehicle. These feeds are then used to stitch images from each camera into a single, overhead view of the vehicle, called a bird’s eye view.

This feature is usually activated when the car is put in reverse, making it easier to see obstacles near you car that you might otherwise miss.

A bird’s eye camera view comes as standard or as an option on many cars. Given that some of them are significantly cheaper than the Tesla Model 3, it has always been surprising the feature wasn’t available on any Tesla vehicle.

We can now scratch this feature request off the list after CEO Elon Musk confirmed tonight on Twitter it would be coming, but only for those with Full Self-Driving (FSD).

Based on Musk’s description of the feature as being a “vector-space bird’s eye view”, it will work differently than the typical bird’s eye view described above. Tesla’s current Summon feature uses a similar method whereby it generates a synthetic view of its surroundings using the neural nets to determine where obstacles are located. This helps to determine its path to the destination point.

Tesla Smart Summon visualization

So instead of a live camera view, it will be similar to Smart Summon’s simulated image with the computer “re-drawing” what it sees in vector. Don’t worry though, it will likely look much better than what we see above.

Musk’s comment around it coming with FSD is a bit unclear. It could mean it will only be included if you have purchased the FSD package (this is the most likely interpretation).

It could also mean it is coming when the Autopilot rewrite gets deployed. During the company’s Q2 2020 earnings call, Musk said he was using the alpha build of the latest FSD software in his personal Model S. He added he was confident it would arrive before the end of 2020.

The timeline has been pushed a bit since then, with Musk now saying the Autopilot re-write will release to Early Access Program users soon, with a wide release to all owners to hopefully follow later in the year.

When this birds-eye view is released hopefully it will be to all owners, and not just those with FSD and the latest HW3.0 computer.

While this will be the first official birds-eye view on a Tesla, there is a third-party option that has been able to add it to the Tesla Model S or Model X.

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