NHTSA pulls driver assist designations for 'Tesla Vision' cars

New Teslas without radar sensors are waiting for an update to fill out certain assists.

Sponsored Links

Richard Lawler
May 27, 2021 4:08 AM
Model 3

On Tuesday Tesla announced that Model 3 and Model Y vehicles built for the US are now shipping without radar sensors, since they'll rely solely on Tesla Vision to enable various driver assists. According to Elon Musk, improved vision processing makes cameras a better option than radar, although we'll see if that holds up in the winter or other poor weather conditios. At the same time, Tesla said that for now, those new vehicles will have limitations to features like Auto Summon, Smart Steer and Emergency Lane Departure Avoidance.


  • Autosteer will be limited to a maximum speed of 75 mph and a longer minimum following distance.

  • Smart Summon (if equipped) and Emergency Lane Departure Avoidance may be disabled at delivery.

While Tesla said the features will be enabled at a later date via software updates, Reuters reports that for now, NHTSA is not labeling the new vehicles as being equipped with safety features like forward collision warning, lane departure warning, crash imminent braking and dynamic brake support. The report does note that Tesla apparently briefed NHTSA on the change and still maintains their five star ratings for crash and rollover safety.

NHTSA Model Y Late 2021

On NHTSA's website, it divides the vehicles into 2021 early or later release, as you can see for certain editions for the Model Y and Model 3 produced after April 27th. When the status on the site changes will probably depend on how quickly those updates arrive, and if any more testing is needed once they're out.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. All prices are correct at the time of publishing.
Popular on Engadget