Tesla’s Autopilot camera not only helps the car see but also clears away obstructions blocking it so it can do its job. A recent video posted by KmanAuto shows how heating elements placed across the front-facing Autopilot camera of a Tesla car will melt away view-obstructing ice and snow even before the car is ready to be driven, notes Teslarati.

Tesla's Autopilot Camera Defroster Easily Melts Through Snow And Ice
Source: Pixabay

Autopilot camera defroster a great help in winters

Tesla’s camera defroster has been included among the more recent self-driving “hardware 2” sensors and the early generation Autopilot hardware as well.  During the press call introducing the new Full Self-Driving Capability, Elon Musk addressed a question regarding the impact of snow and rain on the new suite of cameras.

At the time, the CEO told reporters that the front-facing cameras on the Model X and Model S have heating elements to avoid the buildup of ice and snow. Musk added that the windshield wipers covered the high mounting position on the center of the windshield as well.

Tesla introduced 12 upgraded ultrasonic sensors and eight cameras into the most recent version of its Enhanced Autopilot system. Cameras mounted around the electric car give 360 degrees of visibility around it at up to 250 meters of range, whereas the updated ultrasonic sensors augment this vision with the ability to detect both soft and hard objects, notes Teslarati. A new onboard computer that is 40 times stronger than the last generation operates Tesla’s new neural net for vision.

Tesla “getting close” to releasing v8.1 software update

Last month, Musk said that the anticipated v8.1 software update will be ready to be pushed out to the fleet in “about three weeks.” This software update is expected to fix the interface problem many users have experienced and add autopilot functionalities.

Those three weeks have passed, and last night, the CEO reassured fans, the media and investors that the automaker is “getting close,” and their software team is working seven days a week to get the update out, notes Electrek. The v8.1 software is expected to include many important updates, like an update to Tesla’s in-car browser. Also the Autopilot functionalities which are available in the first generation of Autopilot but not adapted to the new hardware yet are expected to be included in the software.

Last week, the automaker started pushing out some of those features before v8.1, like touchscreen and auto-dimming headlights, but features associated with Autopilot, like Autosteer and Traffic-aware cruise control, have not been released yet, notes Electrek.