the HW4 finally revealed, why the current models would already be obsolete

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They were highly anticipated in the world of electric cars, and although it is not official, the technical characteristics of Tesla Hardware 4 have just been leaked. Let’s take stock of the new features, which probably won’t please those who just got their Tesla, be it a Model 3, Model Y, Model S or Model X.

Tesla periodically offers a hardware upgrade for its sensor suite and driving computer. We are currently on the third iteration, simply called “Hardware 3” or HW3. The persistent rumors about Hardware 4 (HW4) seem to have been right about its imminent release, as the details have just been revealed. Let’s do a check-in.

A major upgrade: 360-degree view and 11 cameras

We’ve already mentioned the few features that a Tesla is missing and will probably never arrive, but it’s clear that one will come faster than we expected: 360 degree view.

Tesla’s famous Hardware 4 // Source: GreenTheOnly on Twitter

In fact, according to GreenTheOnly, a well-known Tesla activist, No less than 11 cameras will be part of the new suite of sensors for Hardware 4and would be distributed as follows:

  • An inner chamber (as currently);
  • Two cameras at the height of the front windshield (compared to the current three);
  • Two-door cameras (as on current models);
  • Three cameras in the front bumper (instead of the two cameras in the front fender);
  • Three cameras in the rear bumper.

Currently, there is no camera at the height of the front bumper – and this is also a problem in the absence of ultrasonic sensors – and only one camera is located in the center of the rear bumper, above the license plate.

The details revealed about the material that GreenTheOnly accessed are unequivocal: in fact there will be more cameras than today. We feared that this would not be the case, particularly given the fact that windshield cameras were reduced from three to two units, but clearly Tesla had anticipated this.

With three cameras in the front bumper, the need for an additional camera at windshield level is probably superfluous.

Cars in the parking lot of the Shanghai Gigafactory waiting to be transported around the world

Compared to current Teslas, three cameras are added (from 8 to 11 cameras), and therefore two cameras move: these are the ones on the front fenders, in front of the side mirrors.

The latter were moved to the bumper, which explains the thick camouflage installed on the recently seen Tesla Model 3 “Highland”. The same setup is found on the rear bumper, ensuring a 360-degree view that was no longer expected.

Positioning the cameras on the front bumper will allow Dramatically improve autonomous driving FSD when it comes to Europe. Currently, the car has something of a blind spot at some intersections, due to the lack of cameras in the front of the car.

It is not possible to recondition old Tesla that become obsolete

If you just received your Tesla Model X Plaid for more than 140,000 euros, you probably won’t appreciate what’s to come next. In fact, your luxury electric SUV won’t stay on the cutting edge of technology for long.

In fact, the Tesla Model X that are currently produced would already be equipped with Hardware 4but Elon Musk’s firm still wouldn’t deliver them to customers.

The “world” seen by Tesla’s FSD. Credit: Romain Heuillard for Frandroid

All of this is likely to be formalized during Tesla’s Investor Day on March 1, in less than two weeks. Still according to GreenTheOnly, differences in the positioning of the connectors and the size of the components mean that it is not possible to equip current cars with Hardware 4unlike the move from Hardware 2.5 to Hardware 3.

Among the less significant changes, however, we highlight the integration of the GPU on the motherboard, and the move from 12 to 20 cores for the CPU (processor) in order to have more computing power for driving aids. Finally, the overall architecture seems to be designed around redundancy, since everything is symmetrical in terms of layout. Is this finally what Tesla needed to ensure true Level 5 autonomous driving? Only the future will tell us.

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