After talk of releasing the vision-based parking system and then potential delays, Tesla is now rolling out the new feature to what appears to be a wider audience. Like all updates to Tesla's Autopilot and Full Self-Driving beta capability, some owners seem impressed with the vision-only park-assist system and others claim it needs more work.
Essentially, now that Tesla's vehicles rely solely on their built-in cameras for advanced driver-assist system features, the park-assist technology went away for a time. In fact, when Tesla first switched to the vision-only setup, most features went away during validation, the automaker's EVs temporarily lost their safety ratings, and then the features reappeared, working much like they did prior to the changes.
That said, Tesla's park assist systems have arguably never been that impressive, nor a focal point for the company's safety technology. However, the new vision-only technology aims to change that, as it can "see" and assess the car's surroundings much like a person.
Rather than relying on any sort of sensors or radar, Tesla's system reportedly analyzes the distances around it simply based on what the cameras see. The cameras are supposed to work together, along with the car's onboard processor, to figure out what's around the car to help of the driver park it more safely.
According to Electrek, Tesla's Park Assist, Autopark, and various Summon modes have been unavailable for some time now. However, after about six months, the company's team has finally started releasing software update 2023.6.9 as what seems to be the first step toward eventually reinstating the features, though it will roll out slowly across the lineup, so you may not get it immediately. According to the update notes via Electrek:
"Tesla Vision Park Assist provides visual and audio alerts of surrounding objects. This feature uses the occupancy network to predict high-definition outlines of objects 360 degrees around the car.
Note: Tesla Vision Park Assist is for guidance purposes onlv and is not a substitute for an aware driver. Please be attentive and avoid obstacles as required."
Interestingly, it appears the cars do not yet park themselves. Instead, they just show the driver the distances to surrounding objects to aid with parking. In other words, it provides visuals and audio cues for the driver, but there's no automation, at least not yet.
There's plenty of chatter on Tesla forums and social media about whether or not the automated features are active in some cases, supposed to be active, or will be active at some point going forward. The consensus right now is that people receiving the update are getting the audio and visual alerts to help with guidance, but no "Auto Park" technologies.
As more updates roll out, we'll keep you posted on how this all unfolds. Until then, it would be helpful if any Tesla owners could alert us of their experiences with the park-assist system and the updates by leaving a comment below.