Tesla owner upgrades Autopilot 2.5 to 3.0 Hardware: Cost, results, and more


Back in October 2018, Elon Musk stated on Twitter that Tesla owners with HW2.5 vehicles who purchased the Full Self-Driving suite will be receiving a free upgrade to the company’s custom-designed, homegrown HW3 Autopilot computer. Today, Tesla appears to be staying true to the CEO’s word, as recently shared by a Model X owner from Canada. 

A Tesla Model X P100D owner who runs the Electric Dreams channel on YouTube recently received the company’s latest iteration of its V10 software. Being equipped with Hardware 2.5, the Model X was not able to take advantage of some new features that were rolled out by the electric car maker, such as the company’s updated driving visualizations improvements

This was a bit disappointing for the Model X owner, especially since his vehicle was equipped with Tesla’s Full Self-Driving suite. With this, the owner-enthusiast opted to schedule a home visit from a Tesla Mobile Service technician. The request: to conduct a retrofit that would replace the Model X P100D’s HW2.5 computer with Tesla’s newer, more powerful, custom-designed HW3 FSD unit. 

Commenting on the experience, the Tesla owner noted that he was not really expecting Tesla to respond to his request, but much to his pleasant surprise, an appointment was indeed processed. After signing some documents, it did not take long before a member of Tesla’s Mobile Service Team drove over to the Model X owner’s house to conduct a HW2.5 to HW3 retrofit on the all-electric SUV. 

(Credit: Electric Dreams/YouTube)
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Unfortunately, the Model X owner was informed that no videos were allowed during the entire HW3 retrofit process. Nevertheless, images taken by the Electric Dreams host during the new Autopilot computer’s installation show that Tesla’s HW3 does seem more robust than the NVIDIA-powered HW2.5, with its large radiators and somewhat heftier look. It took around an hour and a half for the installation to be completed and an additional two hours for the necessary firmware to be loaded into the vehicle. 

After this was completed, the Model X P100D was updated once more with Tesla’s latest software. And sure enough, features that were unavailable prior to the HW2.5 to HW3 retrofit, such as V10’s driving visualizations improvements, were now enabled. Overall, it appears that Tesla’s HW3 retrofits for Model S and Model X owners who purchased the FSD suite seem to be ongoing now, and true to Elon Musk’s words, the process is completely painless. The entire upgrade was free as well, as indicated by the $0 charge for the HW3 installation. 

Yet, perhaps the best thing here really is the sheer convenience of the entire retrofit process. Back in September, Tesla owner-enthusiast Sofiaan Fraval noted on Twitter that his Model S received a HW3 retrofit when he paid a visit to the service center. If the Electric Dreams channel host’s video is any indication, it appears that retrofits are now being conducted by Tesla’s Mobile Service team, and they are also available on demand. 

This ultimately bodes well for Tesla’s rollout of its Full Self-Driving suite. Musk, after all, has stated that the company will push HW3 retrofits when FSD features actually warrant the additional computing power of the custom-built Autopilot unit. This was explained by Musk in a tweet back in March. “Retrofits will start when our software is able to take meaningful advantage of the Tesla FSD computer, which is an order of magnitude more capable. For now, it’s slightly disadvantageous to have Tesla FSD computer as our software is more refined for HW2,” Musk wrote. 

Considering the company’s rollout of new FSD features such as Smart Summon, it appears that HW3’s additional computing power is now becoming more useful for Tesla’s advanced capabilities. 

Watch Electric Dreams‘ video about his Model X P100D’s HW2.5 to HW3 retrofit in the video below. 

Tesla owner upgrades Autopilot 2.5 to 3.0 Hardware: Cost, results, and more

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