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Elon Musk says older Tesla models can soon get a free self-driving chip upgrade

By nanoguy
Jul 9, 2019
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  1. For those of you out there who happen to own an older Tesla vehicle – or just over half a million people – there’s some good news for you. If you paid for the full Self-Driving package ($6,000), Elon Musk says Tesla will “most likely” be ready to upgrade your model with the new, more powerful self-driving chip for free by the end of the year.

    Elon has been touting the new chip at Tesla’s Autonomy Investor Day earlier this year, a 260 square millimeter powerhouse with 6 billion transistors that should offer 21 times the performance compared to the Nvidia chips it’s set to replace.

    The new, Full Self-Driving (FSD) computer is also fitted with two such chips for redundancy, as are all the other critical features such as power delivery. All of this apparently costs 20 percent less than Nvidia’s solution at the cost of being a little less energy efficient.

    It’s worth noting that Model S, X and 3s produced in the last months have already been equipped with the new chip. The next challenge for Tesla is how to retrofit 528,000 vehicles as well as judging the opportunity cost of that versus unleashing a swarm of robotaxis and just exiting the car market.

    Once Tesla figures out how to align the FSD software with the promise of a fully autonomous car, the latter option would likely generate much more profit for the company in the long run than selling its cars to consumers. Musk himself said increasing the price accordingly is more in line with what he has in mind.

    In the meantime, Tesla still has a lot of work on its hands as competition from Waymo and Uber intensifies and the pressure of achieving strict production targets that make investors happy tends to increase every quarter.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Ben Bethel

    Ben Bethel TS Rookie

    There's no way 528,000 people paid for Full Self Drive. I have a feeling or guess that they're only going to have to upgrade about 30K vehicles max... Does anyone know the actual numbers? Cars purchased with the FSD option will be the only ones. In looking at the used market barely any cars seem to have this... Like under 5 percent of the used cars I see. I have a 2016 (November) Model X P100DL+ with FSD so I hope I'm one of the first. I'm guessing cost to Tesla on this board is around $400? Just a guess, anyone have more educated guesses?
  3. toooooot

    toooooot TS Evangelist Posts: 821   +405

    I dont think the price to tesla is anywhere close to $400.
    These days it isnt the hardware that costs the most, it is the salaries of the people who design these boards.
    Doesn't matter what exactly this board costs Tesla, the amount of time in dollars paid to programmers and engineers to design it is in hundreds of millions.
  4. Ben Bethel

    Ben Bethel TS Rookie

    I really can't speak to this but I can't imagine 100s of millions of dollars. In knowing some people pretty well who work for board manufacturers in Tempe Arizona near the Intel fab plant, who've developed highly customizable automotive medical and defense boards, it seems that there's no way the cost is that high. Perhaps for the entire self-driving ecosystem for all Tesla vehicles but not just for this board to be changed out. There's probably got to be report somewhere to show what this cost is as soon as these installs are being done. if we could all work together as a team and report back as to what this costs will be per vehicle I would love to get more information!

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