Tesla announced today that all of the cars it produces will now include upgraded self-driving hardware. Tesla CEO Elon Musk says the hardware will enable all future Teslas to achieve “level 5 autonomy.”
That doesn’t mean Tesla’s upgraded cars are fully self-driving today. The software required for this level of autonomy isn’t ready, but Tesla promises to introduce new features over time with over-the-air software updates.
Musk shared the news today during a Tesla press call — one hour before the final 2016 U.S. presidential debate.
New Teslas will have eight cameras “instead of one,” said Musk. “And the compute power on the computer has increased by a factor of 40. It’s basically a supercomputer in the car.”
In addition, Teslas now feature updated radar sensor processing and 12 “updated ultrasonic sensors …allowing for detection of both hard and soft objects at nearly twice the distance of the prior system,” according to Tesla’s blog. Musk says the upgraded system also includes “some other minor improvements” involving features like GPS.
In Musk’s words, today marks part two of Tesla’s Model 3 unveil. Tesla officially announced the Model 3 in March, and now (half a year later), Musk says the Model 3 will include “full self-driving hardware” as a standard feature.
While Tesla’s self-driving features are not yet ready, Musk said during the call that he believes Tesla vehicles will be capable of autonomously traveling from Los Angeles to New York by the end of 2017 without “a single touch.” Unfortunately for Tesla owners, existing Tesla cars cannot be upgraded to the new hardware.