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All Tesla cars now have fully self-driving hardware

Model S and Model X vehicles with this new hardware are already in production and available for purchase

By Lana Jelic from Oct 20, 2016 @ 7:31 CDT

Tesla is giving all its new cars the hardware for full self-driving capability, including Model 3. The cars will come with eight surround cameras that provide 360 degrees visibility around the car at up to 250 meters of range, twelve updated ultrasonic sensors allowing for detection of both hard and soft objects at nearly twice the distance of the prior system and a forward-facing radar with enhanced processing that provides additional data about the world on a redundant wavelength, capable of seeing through heavy rain, fog, dust and even the car ahead.


A new onboard computer with more than 40 times the computing power of the previous generation, which is basically a super-computer in a car, will run the new Tesla-developed neural net for vision, sonar and radar processing software. This system will provide a view of the cars surrounding that the driver alone cannot see.

Before activating the features enabled by the new hardware, we will further calibrate the system using millions of miles of real-world driving to ensure significant improvements to safety and convenience. While this is occurring, Teslas with new hardware will temporarily lack certain features currently available on Teslas with first-generation Autopilot hardware, including some standard safety features such as automatic emergency braking, collision warning, lane holding and active cruise control. As these features are robustly validated we will enable them over the air, together with a rapidly expanding set of entirely new features.

Model S and Model X vehicles with this new hardware are already in production and available for purchase.

However, customers that already own a Tesla car won't be able to enjoy in this new system. As Elon Musk pointed out on Twitter, retrofitting to full self-driving hardware is very difficult and more expensive than buying a new car.

Musk also promised a demonstration of a fully autonomous drive from Los Angeles to New York by the end of next year.

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