by Fred Lambert
August 20, 2021
Tesla plans to launch a new Full Self-Driving computer with Cybertruck electric pickup truck next year. The updated self-driving hardware should also include new cameras. Tesla’s self-driving hardware has been a point of controversy.
Back in 2016, Tesla announced that all its vehicles going forward will be produced with all the hardware necessary to achieve full self-driving capability with future software updates. It turned out that Tesla was wrong about that. The Nvidia computer that powered its original self-driving hardware suite didn’t have enough computing power, and the automaker ended up upgrading the computer twice.
The latest iteration called the FSD Computer is powered by a chip of Tesla’s own design.
Since the automaker had promised that all its cars had the hardware to achieve self-driving, Tesla upgraded the computer for free when people bought its Full Self-Driving software package. However, this was an issue when Tesla launched its Full Self-Driving subscription package and charged owners $1,500 to get the computer upgrade.
The CEO reiterated that he still believes the FSD computer will be able to achieve full self-driving: “I am confident that Hardware 3, or the Full Self-Driving computer 1, will be able to full self-driving at a safety level much greater than humans. I don’t know, probably 200 or 300% better than a human.” But Tesla also always said that it plans to improve on the FSD Computer first introduced in 2019.
At the event yesterday, Musk referenced the ‘Hardware 4’ or ‘FSD Computer 2’ and linked it to the launch of the Cybertruck: “Obviously, there will be a Hardware 4 or Self Driving Computer 2, which we will probably introduce with the Cybertruck maybe in about a year or so. That will be about 4 times more a capable. Roughly.” The CEO said that the goal of the new hardware will be to enable to increase the safety gap between human drivers and self-driving cars.
Musk was asked the same question about other parts of the FSD hardware suite, and he confirmed that Tesla also plans to upgrade the cameras with next-generation cameras, starting with the Cybertruck.
Electrek’s Take That’s about what was expected for the timing of Hardware 4, but linking it to Cybertruck is interesting. Tesla recently confirmed that production of the new electric pickup truck has been delayed to 2022.
Now Musk did says that they “will probably introduce Hardware 4 with the Cybertruck maybe in about a year or so.” That could be a hint that Tesla doesn’t expect to start producing the Cybertruck until the second half of 2022, which is also a more realistic timeline.