Tesla will use more than 21 sensors for advanced driver assistant system

October 20th, 2016

This week, Tesla announced that all Tesla vehicles produced in their factory – including Model 3 – will have the improved sensors for full self-driving capability.

Beginning with vehicles manufactured in late 2014, all new Tesla Model S vehicles come equipped with a camera mounted at the top of the windshield, forward looking radar, and ultrasonic sensors in the front and rear bumpers.

Triggered by the deadly accident in this May, Tesla’s CEO, Mr. Elon Musk, indicated that Tesla will update the Autopilot in end of September/early October to Autopilot 8.0. They’ll change the camera-as-the-primary-technology ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistant System) to radar-as-the-primary-technology ADAS.

Touch Display Research believes Tesla’s radar-as-the-primary ADAS still needs camera in it, since radar can’t detect the traffic light color, nor pained lines for lanes. Camera is still necessary in the ADAS.

This week, Tesla announced they’ll integrate more than 21 sensors for their cars:  8 surround cameras provide 360 degree visibility around the car. 12 updated ultrasonic sensors complement this vision, allowing for detection of both hard and soft objects. A forward-facing radar with enhanced processing capable of seeing through heavy rain, fog, dust and even the car ahead.

To process all the data collected from the 21 sensors, Tesla also upgraded their new onboard computer with more than 40 times the computing power of the previous generation.

The automotive industry’s adoption of new technologies has accelerated in the past couples of years. ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistant Systems) includes many features. The top 3 most popular/critical features are automatic emergency braking, pre-collision warning, and blind-spot warning.

Figure 1. Automotive innovations: touch, display, ADAS and touchless human-machine-interaction


Source:  Automotive touch, display, ADAS and touchless 2016 report, Sept 2016, Touch Display Research Inc. Drawing credit: Parrot

In the recently published “Automotive touch, display, ADAS and touchless HMI 2016 report,” Touch Display Research Inc., a market research and consulting firm, analyzes automotive touch screen, display, ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistant System), and touchless human-machine-interaction (HMI).

Touch Display Research forecasts the overall automotive touch, display, ADAS and touchless HMI market will grow from $15 billion in 2017, to $60 billion in 2023.

Figure 2. Automotive touch, display, ADAS and touchless HMI revenue forecast


Source: Automotive touch, display, ADAS and touchless 2016 report, September 2016, Touch Display Research

Currently ADAS feature is optional in many high-end cars, and we believe it will quickly become a must for many new buyer. By 2022, ADAS will become standard in most American cars. The $60 billion opportunity will be gobbled by over 500 companies, which include approximately 100 automotive companies, approximately 200 touch screen companies, over 200 touchless human-machine-interaction (HMI) companies and approximately 30 display companies.

Thanks for reading,

Dr. Jennifer Colegrove and team