News and rumors have been heating up about Tesla's upcoming FSD hardware 4.0. Now, thanks to @GreenTheOnly, we have our first look at Tesla's latest FSD hardware, version 4.0.
The new hardware will not only include a faster computer and higher resolution cameras but it will include HD radar, additional cameras and new camera placements.
It's been rumored for a while now that Tesla will use upgraded camera sensors with increased resolution. We reported last year that these new cameras are also expected to have LED flicker mitigration that will aid in reading digital signs.
Tesla's current cameras produce 1.2 megapixels, and while we don't know for a fact what the updated resolution will be, numerous rumors have pointed at them having 5 megapixel sensors.
One of our sources says that while the increased resolution will be useful in certain scenarios, it won't be 'critical' because the higher resolution also comes with some downsides, such as more noise and will require additional processing power.
However, we expect that it will be useful in certain scenarios and Tesla may even be selective about when the increased resolution is used. The new cameras will also provide a better picture and will benefit non-FSD features such as Sentry Mode.
However, the increased resolution of the new cameras is only a small part of the upcoming camera changes.
Tesla's hardware 4.0 features 12 camera connectors
Tesla's hardware 4.0 has 12 camera connectors on board, with one being labeled spare. All current Teslas feature nine cameras in total. Three of them are forward-facing cameras and located underneath the windshield, two are on the fenders, two on the B-pillars, one in the rear and one for the cabin camera.
That means there may be up to three additional cameras in hardware 4.0, or possibly four if you count the spare. According to Green, these three cameras appear to be destined for the vehicle's front bumper, although it's not clear in which direction they'll be aimed.
There have been various documented issues where Tesla has a blindspot when the vehicle is coming out of a secondary road that is obstructed by buildings or other objects. Having a camera that could look to the sides near the front of the vehicle would solve these situations, by giving it better than human vision since they'd be placed near the front of the vehicle.
FSD struggles with obstructed views like these
According to the camera port names, it appears that Tesla may also be repositioning some of its cameras. The B-pillar cameras, which look forward, may be moved onto the vehicle's fenders to presumably help provide a better view as well.
Another leak last month revealed that Tesla is added a heater element to cameras in the B-pillar of the vehicle, which will help with fog build-up underneath the glass.
Hardware 4.0 was previously rumored to be about 2-4x faster than hardware 3.0. Some of this power will undoubtedly go toward processing the new camera feeds and additional pixels the new cameras are providing. However, the additional power is crucial given that hardware 3.0 is nearing its processing limit.
Green provided the specs from the new hardware's chips, revealing it contains 20 cores, up from 12, and it maxes out at 2.35 GHz. Green also talked about the number of TRIP cores increasing from two to three and maxing out at 2.2 GHz.
While the number of cores and its frequency don't reveal how powerful this new hardware may be, Green says that the new hardware has 'a lot less improvement than many hoped for.'
It's not clear how much faster hardware 4.0 will be compared to hardware 3, but it sounds like the improvement may be toward the lower limit of the 2-4x speed bump we were expecting.
The hardware specs provided are per node, with the board having two nodes, which are expected to be used for redundancy.
Tesla's FSD hardware 4.0 is uncovered
When Tesla introduced hardware 3.0, they also built it for redundancy in case of emergencies. Each board was built with two identical nodes. Both nodes could compute the same data and compare the outputs, letting the vehicle know if there was an issue. If one node failed, the vehicle could also continue driving itself long enough to pull over safely.
However, as Tesla's processing requirements increased, redundancy was removed on hardware 3.0 so that Tesla could leverage the processing power of both nodes.
With hardware 4.0, Tesla has once again added redundancy into their hardware, not only in terms of chips and processing but power redundancy as well.
However, given this look at Tesla's latest FSD hardware, it all but confirms that Tesla has no plans to offer any sort of retrofit.
Hardware 4.0 is also much more than just a faster computer. The power draw is much higher on hardware 4.0 than on hardware 3. The form factor is also completely different and will not fit in a previous model without modifications.
Tesla's previous FSD hardware upgrades were either camera upgrades or a computer upgrade, both of which were easily swappable. However, the hardware 4.0 suite now includes additional cameras, new camera placements, a new computer form factor, and an HD radar, making a retrofit unrealistic in every way.
There may be hobbyists that will dedicate their time and money to retrofitting their vehicles, but that's as far as we expect retrofits to go. The time and money Tesla would spend on retrofitting a vehicle would not make 'economical sense.'
Tesla's hardware 4.0 package augments vision with an HD radar.
Tesla started removing radar from their vehicles in 2021 with the Model 3 and Model Y. They later removed radar from their Model S and Model X vehicles as well in favor of a vision-only system.
However, with hardware 4.0, Tesla is reintroduced radar with a high-definition radar named Phoenix. HD radar is a step up from traditional radar, letting Tesla more accurately create an image with radar alone.
With hardware 4.0 Tesla is also going the extra distance with protecting its sensors. Not only will some of the cameras contain heaters to prevent weather-related issues, but Tesla will include a heater for the radar as well.
The radar heater will prevent snow and ice from accumulating on the front of the vehicle and blocking the radar signals.
Since hardware 4's chips are more powerful it isn't a big surprise that they also require additional power.
According to Green, hardware 3 consumed about 100 watts max, which is about the same as hardware 2.5. Hardware 3 was created with the same power restrictions as hardware 2.5 since it needed to be easily retrofitted.
However, since hardware 4.0 isn't going to be retrofitted, it didn't come with the same design restrictions. We don't know what hardware 4's max processing power is based on the information disclosed, but it will apparently idle at 80 watts, which is about double the idle power of hardware 3.
Which Models Will Have Hardware 4.0
Green believes that Tesla is producing Model S and Model X vehicles with hardware 4.0 now. However, Tesla is hanging on to them and they're not being delivered yet.
Tesla has their upcoming March 1st event titled Investor Day, where they may reveal hardware 4.0 to everyone. Possibly with a surprise announcement that all current vehicles contain hardware 4.0.
It's not clear whether the Model 3 and Model Y are currently being manufactured with the new hardware, the Model 3 and Y lines in China are currently paused for retooling which could be related to hardware 4.
Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date on the latest Tesla news, upcoming features and software updates.
Ganesh Venkataramanan, Tesla’s project lead for its ambitious Dojo supercomputer project for the past five years, has left the company. Bloomberg reported this development, stating that the news was confirmed by sources familiar with the matter. Peter Bannon, a former executive at Apple Inc. and a director at Tesla for the last seven years, has now taken the helm of the project.
Venkataramanan's departure from Tesla last month is now stirring conversations about the potential impacts on Tesla's future initiatives. His contributions to the Dojo project have been pivotal, especially in designing the custom D1 chip that powers the supercomputer. Venkataramanan, with his extensive experience, including a significant tenure at Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD), was a crucial asset in setting up Tesla’s AI hardware and silicon teams in 2016.
Dojo: A Cornerstone for Tesla’s Self-Driving Aspirations
The Dojo supercomputer is a critical element of Tesla's strategy to enhance its self-driving capabilities. Designed to train machine learning models integral to Tesla's autonomous systems, Dojo processes vast amounts of data captured by Tesla vehicles. This rapid data processing is essential for improving the company’s algorithms, with analysts suggesting that Dojo could be a significant competitive advantage for Tesla. In a recent estimation by Morgan Stanley, the project could potentially add $500 billion to Tesla’s value.
Elon Musk has been vocal about the company's commitment to the Dojo project, planning an investment exceeding $1 billion by the end of 2024. The project's importance was underscored in Tesla's decision to shift from relying on Nvidia Corp.’s supercomputers to developing Dojo, poised to rival systems from Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. and IBM.
Looking Ahead: Impact and Future Prospects
The recent leadership changes raise questions about the future direction of the Dojo project. Venkataramanan's exit, coupled with the departure of another critical artificial intelligence player from Tesla last year, Andrej Karpathy, signals a transition period for the company’s AI and self-driving teams.
However, Tesla's robust talent pool, blending experienced and emerging professionals, offers a silver lining. Bannon's promotion to lead the Dojo project is seen as a strategic move, leveraging his experience and insights gained from his tenure at Apple. Moreover, the recent installation of Dojo hardware in Palo Alto, California, marks a step forward in centralizing and enhancing the project’s capabilities.
Tesla’s ambitions for Dojo extend to making it one of the world’s top supercomputers. The company envisions reaching a computational capability of 100 exaflops* by October 2024, a testament to its commitment to advancing artificial intelligence and self-driving technology.
* Confused about "exaflops?" "Flops" stands for Floating Point Operations Per Second. It's a way to measure how fast a computer can process data. "Exa" means a billion billion, or 1, followed by 18 zeros (1,000,000,000,000,000,000). So, when we say a computer can perform 100 exaflops, it can do 100 billion billion calculations per second. That's incredibly fast!
Tesla is adding a new 'High Fidelity Park Assist' feature in this year's Holiday Update
Following initial reactions to Tesla's 2023 Holiday Update, Elon Musk acknowledged the need for improvement, stating, "We need to step up our game." His post on X was followed by Tesla shedding more light on the Holiday Update than what was in the initial leak.
Call me old, but I remember a time when you bought a car, and that was it; the dealer and manufacturer didn’t give you anything else. So is the Tesla community acting a little bit spoiled here? Absolutely. But it also shows how high Tesla has set the bar with its previous Holiday Updates.
Initial Release and Feedback
The initial release of the 2023 Holiday Update, version 2023.44.25, received mixed reactions from the Tesla community, with some owners expressing disappointment over the lack of groundbreaking new features. But the newly announced features may serve as better stocking stuffers.
The initial rollout included something owners have been asking for, the blind spot monitor. The camera that turns on when you change lanes will now have a red color added if there is something in your blind spot. It’s not clear whether it will be accompanied by a tone.
Tesla’s blind spot warning in this year’s holiday update
Here are other features in the leaked update that are being tested by employees:
Navigation and Safety Features: Including symbols for speed cameras, stop signs, and traffic lights in navigation, and the automatic 911 call feature in case of an accident.
Trip Planning via Tesla Mobile App: Allowing for more detailed trip planning, including multiple stops and charging points.
Apple Podcasts Integration: Allowing users to sync with Apple devices for a seamless podcast experience, directly addressing the demand for a richer in-car entertainment system.
New Games and Enhancements: The update brought updates to Tesla Arcade, with Beach Buggy Racing and Polytopia Diplomacy updates, as well as the Vampire Survivors Chilling update.
Light Show Improvements: There’s a new light show that’s included with your vehicle. You’ll also be able to upload several light shows on a single USB drive and pick one from the vehicle, instead of having to use multiple USB drives, one for each light show.
More Live Sentry Mode Cameras: You will now be able to view the B-pillar cameras directly from the Tesla app. This brings the number of viewable cameras in the app up to seven. The only ones still missing are the alternative front-facing cameras that are telephoto and wide-angle, which wouldn’t bring much additional value. Although the B-pillars are viewable in the app with this update, they will still not be used to record during Dashcam or Sentry Mode events.
High-Fidelity Park Assist
Tesla's new parking assist feature will dynamically recreate scenes in real-time
In response to the feedback and Musk's statement, Tesla unveiled additional features in its updated holiday update, including an improved park assist with enhanced visualizations.
This feature provides a 3D reconstruction of the vehicle's surroundings while parking, akin to a 360-degree camera system found in other high-end vehicles. The system is clearly leveraging improvements to Tesla Vision to create the surrounding environment, such as cars, pillars and walls.
This feature also appears to change the color of objects depending on how close they are to your vehicle. In the image we can see the pillars are orange, but if we look closer, the object behind the vehicle is also orange near the bottom. The sides of the vehicles next to the Tesla also have a slight hint of orange, indicating their proximity.
However, it looks like this feature may be even better than it initially looks. The vehicles in the image aren’t just predefined 3D models that Tesla created, like the ones used in Autopilot visualizations. These models appear to be dynamically created using vision, so that no two cars would look alike, much more similar to what LiDar is able to achieve. The visualization provides a true representation of the environment around the vehicle. You can see that each vehicle is made up from layers and have blurred edges toward the rear, where the camera would have a hard time seeing.
These 3D models could be a sneak peek at the future of FSD visualizations.
High-Fidelity Park Assist Requirements
A big question on everyone’s mind is who will receive this new park assist feature. Tesla didn’t address this in their post on X besides providing a disclaimer that the features in the holiday release are subject to model and region availability. Tesla often likes to test features in select markets before making them available everywhere. It’s hard to say whether that will be the case here. There likely aren’t any legal ramifications around providing visualizations, so that’s a good sign that this feature will be available in most regions, either in the holiday update, or soon afterward.
However, there are still questions around which models or hardware will be required. From the image shared, we can see it’s offered on a Model Y, removing any speculation of it possibly requiring the HD radar in the new Model S/X. We also don’t think it will require FSD hardware 4.0, so the remaining questions are whether it requires MCU 3, or the FSD package.
Given that Tesla is calling this Park Assist, it doesn’t appear to be linked to Auto Park, which is a FSD package feature. When Tesla rolled out visual and audio alerts for vehicles without ultrasonic sensors, it called the feature Park Assist, and that was available to all owners.
Whether this improved Park Assist feature requires a vehicle with MCU 3 will depend on the level of processing power required. It’ll certainly require more than the current visualizations given that its building the scene in real-time, so we’re hopeful that it’ll work on MCU 2 vehicles too, but we just don’t have enough information right now to make the call.
Custom Lock Sounds
Soon you'll be able to choose a custom locking sound for your car
Not a Tesla App
Tesla also announced a fun and whimsical feature that allows owners to customize the lock sound of their Tesla. No longer will you need to listen to the car’s horn when it locks as you walk away. Now you’ll be able to customize the lock sound of the vehicle. Tesla is including several options, including sounds like a screaming goat, a jingle, a rubber ducky, a quack sound, an old school horn and applause. However, you’ll also be able to upload your own file to create a truly unique experience.
You can pick anything, from a bird’s tweet to a favorite video game sound. You’ll only be limited by the maximum upload file size, which according to a Tesla engineer, is a 1MB file in WAV format, which is roughly about 40 seconds at good quality.
This feature is possible due to the vehicle’s external pedestrian warning speaker. So if you have Tesla’s Boombox feature or your vehicle makes a sound when traveling under 20 MPH, then you should receive this fun enhancement.
Rear Seat Audio and Gaming
You'll now be able to play games on Tesla's rear screens
Enhancing the Tesla Arcade experience, passengers in the rear seats can now play games on the rear touchscreen. This feature, especially when paired with Tesla Arcade’s compatibility with PS4, PS5, Xbox Controllers, and rear-screen Bluetooth Headsets, is a welcome addition for families and long trips.
Much like the new Model 3, which received rear audio over Bluetooth support in the 2023.38 update, the new Model S and Model X will also receive this ability in the holiday update.
New Game - Castle Doombad
Tesla announced one other feature in the 2023 holiday update that hadn’t been previously leaked, and that’s a new game called Castle Doombad. Castle Doombad is a single player tower defense, puzzle-like game that’s currently available on iOS and Android, but has an upcoming release on PC and the Nintendo Switch. This game is expected to require MCU 3.
The rollout of the 2023 Holiday Update is expected to follow a similar timeline to last year. Tesla announced that the update will roll out starting next week. However, it’s not clear whether this will also include FSD Beta testers that are on a 2023.27 update.
Like a spoiled child on Christmas morning, Tesla owners still ask, “Is that it?” Well… possibly, but there may be more to look forward to early next year as Tesla builds off of the new High-Fidelity Park Assist feature.
Advanced Smart Summon: Upgrading the Smart Summon feature to be more intuitive and efficient, especially in complex parking scenarios.
Reverse Summon / Park Seek: What happened to Tesla dropping its passengers and driver off at the location and then finding a parking spot on its own?
Enhanced FSD Visualizations: Expanding the Full Self-Driving visualizations to more regions or models or completely recreating the FSD visualizations using the same neural networks Tesla is using for the High-Fidelity Park Assist feature.
TeslaFi logs your drives and charging sessions, letting you keep a log of your vehice's activity. We highly recommend checking them out if you use your car for business trips and would like to keep track of reimbursements, if you like to see how much you spend on charging or if you just love statistics. Visit their site and see everything they have to offer!
The EV Universe newsletter reports distill more than 100 EV news sources into a 10-minute read every week. We cover both Tesla and the rest of the EV industry. Join over 3,000 EV geeks like us and subscribe to the free weekly newsletter here.
Tesla Android Project enables you to run Android apps in your Tesla. The platform is Open Source and you can deploy it on your own Raspberry Pi 4. Consider supporting the initiative by donating or purchasing the Compute Module 4 Bundle that delivers the best experience. Get $20 off by using the code: NotATeslaApp
The official Tesla app only notifies you if your car is broken into. By installing Sentry Pro on your phone, you will be notified for all Sentry Mode events. Stay connected and avoid potential surprises by receiving notifications. Stop constantly checking the cameras to ensure safety. Check only when necessary, save battery and get peace of mind. Get a 7 day free trial here!