by Fred Lambert
October 22, 2021
Elon Musk confirmed that owners of Tesla vehicles who bought the Full Self-Driving (FSD) package on cars with Autopilot 2.0 are going to need a camera upgrade before they get access to the “FSD Beta.” Starting with the introduction of its Autopilot 2.0 suite of sensors in 2016, Tesla started selling all of its cars with the promise that they have all the hardware necessary to achieve full self-driving capability with future software updates.
This promise has helped Tesla sell vehicles, but it turned out to be inaccurate. The automaker had to update its Autopilot hardware several times, including with a new computer that Tesla included as a retrofit for Autopilot 2.0 owners who bought the Full Self-Driving package.
Over the years, there have been rumors that Tesla would need to upgrade more than the computer to achieve self-driving capability. Those rumors have ramped recently since no Autopilot 2.0 owners with the new FSD computer reported getting the FSD Beta despite achieving a 100/100 safety score in the app, which is Tesla’s requirement to get the new software.
Last night, CEO Elon Musk was asked whether or not these owners will get access to FSD Beta, and he confirmed that they will but they will need a “camera upgrade”: “Yeah, although early production cars will need camera upgrades, as well as FSD computer (all included in the price).”
The CEO didn’t elaborate on when this upgrade will become available and if it’s for all eight cameras that are part of the sensor suite. It isn’t even yet certain why these cameras need to be replaced. Either way, it’s going to add to the workload of Tesla’s already very busy service team and delay some Tesla owners’ access to the FSD package, which most had paid for years ago.
Electrek‘s take It’s a bummer for Tesla owners with Autopilot 2.0 who have been working on a top safety score. As we previously reported, the safety score is far from a perfect way to gauge safe driving skills and encourage people to just drive slower and avoid more difficult driving situations.
I can imagine this being frustrating for owners who are safe drivers and yet had to adapt their driving to the safety score while having this other requirement that they didn’t even know about. Hopefully, Tesla can soon share a retrofit schedule with those owners.
As for Tesla’s cost to retrofit, it shouldn’t be too difficult to absorb, but I’d be more concerned about the added workload to service centers.