Tesla has slowly started its massive retrofit program to install its new Full Self-Driving (FSD) Computer in older vehicles, and an owner made a video about the process.
Earlier this year, Tesla launched its Full Self-Driving computer, claiming that it is “objectively the best chip in the world.”
They claimed a factor of 21 improvements in frame-per-second processing versus the previous-generation Tesla Autopilot hardware, which was powered by Nvidia hardware.
According to the company, its new computer can process 2,300 frames per second and perform 144 trillions of operation per second.
CEO Elon Musk described the new computer as what will enable them to power their vision-based full self-driving capability software to be released next year.
Tesla said that the new computer was in all new Model S and Model X vehicles since March (starting around March 20) and in all new Model 3 vehicles since April (starting around April 12).
But Tesla has also been promising to offer a retrofit to the new computer for Tesla owners, with vehicles equipped with Autopilot 2.0 and 2.5 computers who have purchased Tesla’s Full Self-Driving package.
Musk said the following about plans to offer retrofits (FSD stands for Full Self-Driving):
Anyone who purchased full self-driving will get FSD computer upgrade for free. This is the only change between Autopilot HW2.5 & HW3. Going forward, ‘HW3’ will just be called FSD Computer, which is accurate. No change to vehicle sensors or wire harness needed. This is very important.
In September, Tesla started retrofitting some vehicles who were already scheduled for service.
We estimate that Tesla will eventually have to retrofit over 100,000 vehicles, which is going to require quite an effort from its service team.
The effort appears to ramp up, and now more owners are reporting getting the upgraded computer.
YouTuber Electric Dreams posted an interesting video on the process after getting the retrofit on his Model X, which was equipped with the Autopilot 2.5 hardware:
He managed to schedule the appointment to get the upgrade with Tesla’s mobile service team through the Tesla mobile app:
A Tesla technician in a van showed up at his house, and it took about an hour and a half for the installation, but they also need to install the firmware on the new hardware, and that takes an additional two hours.
Electric Dreams also shared some images of the Autopilot 2.5 computer and the new FSD computer:
The new computer is expected to soon enable features that are not currently possible on the older Autopilot computers, leading to full self-driving capability, which Tesla says will be “feature complete” by the end of the year (at least for the early access program).
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