Tesla’s hardware 3.0 is set to be the final in line before achieving actual full self-driving. Tesla CEO Elon Musk is so confident that he has dubbed the new upgrade the FSD Computer. Tesla has now confirmed that the latest hardware is now in production.
“Tesla is making significant progress in the development of its autonomous driving software and hardware, including our FSD computer, which is currently in production and which will enable full-self driving via future over-the-air software updates.”
We have yet to know whether “in production” means in production vehicles or the computers themselves are in production. Last month, rumors spread of HW3 being displayed on Tesla’s site’s source code under current inventory vehicles for the Model S & X. This would imply that current cars on the road already have the new Tesla full self-driving computer.
This does not mean that Tesla’s full self-driving is around the corner. Although it is, the corner is a distance away for actual full self-driving. With the new FSD computer in place, Tesla will slowly start to roll out updates complying with regulations and current tech capabilities.
Tesla Full Self-Driving features have already begun being released with Nav on Autopilot being the first. This feature allows your car to go an entire highway trip without touching the pedals. The car will change lanes to pass cars and put you on the right exits all by itself. Currently, the feature requires driver confirmation for the lane change and a hand on the wheel to make sure you’re paying attention. Tesla states that Nav on Autopilot will be available without lane confirmation later this year.
Tesla also states that Full Self-Driving will be “feature complete” by the end of this year as well. This just states that the features will be made available for use but not perfected. Stop signs, street lights, etc., full self-driving will allow you to drive to a destination without actually driving, eventually. Until perfected, Tesla will require all drivers maintain 100% focus on the road and their surroundings while the car is in control.
Tesla Autopilot crashes happen but not as often as some make it out to be. Statistically, Tesla actually claims drivers under Autopilot crash less often than those without on a per mile basis. This statistic is actually taken from Tesla’s own vehicle miles both with Autopilot on and off as they monitor all accidents.
The HW3, of FSD Computer, will drastically improve all Autopilot features. Up to a 10x improvement in image processing will allow the car to react, in theory, 10x faster. Musk actually puts it at a ~400% improvement over our current version. It should be able to see more and have less false positives or missed positives as well.
Full self-driving option is required with the Tesla designed hardware 3 computer. This is a simple plug in replacement for the NVidia computer, but has over 10X the image processing ability.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 9, 2018
Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Computer is a simple plug and play. There are no changes to the current on board cameras or wiring. Tesla will simply pop out the old chip and in the new one.
“We take out one computer and plug in the next. That’s it. All the connectors are compatible and you get an order of magnitude, more processing and you can run all the cameras at primary full resolution with the complex neural net.”
Anyone who has purchased the Full Self-Driving package for their Tesla will receive the upgrade for free. The package currently cost $5,000 plus another $3,000 for the required Autopilot package. If you want to hold off, delaying the purchase will cost you. Purchasing the package after delivery of your vehicle costs $7,000 and $5,000 for Autopilot. Prices were recently reworked and many current owners can still purchase the package after delivery for $5,000.
The Company will be holding an Autonomy Investors Day on April 19th where they will display and discuss their roadmap for full self-driving features. Investors attending the event will get the chance to try out Tesla’s Autopilot presumably with HW3 and future, unreleased, features. For those not attending the event, there will be a livestream as well were we can maybe see some new full self-driving features in action.
Investors will be able to take test-drives to experience our Autopilot software first-hand, including features and functionality that are under active development.