Thanks to a recent hack into the Autopilot’s debugging mode, we now have a better idea of how the self-driving feature works. A Tesla owner has used the data extracted from the hack to figure out what the Autopilot sees through the car’s cameras.
Tesla EVs equipped with the second generation Autopilot have a total of eight cameras on board, with three of them being front-facing. The first one has a range of 250 meters, the second 150 meters, while the range of the third wide angle camera, which acts as the main one, is 60 meters. Additionally, there are also cameras on each side of the front fenders and B-pillars as well as one at the back.
A member of the Tesla Motors Club forum has overlapped the images captured by the cameras to give us a better look at what exactly does the Autopilot see. You can check out the image below (and above).
The cameras are capturing black and white pictures that are used for Tesla’s Autopilot. Although they are capable of recording in color, black and white images have the advantage of getting processed a lot faster.
The images are being processed by NVIDIA’s Drive PX 2 computer, which is something that can change in the future. Elon Musk once said that the computer will have to be upgraded in order support level 4 or 5 autonomous driving, which should be ready in about two years.