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Tesla’s Faster 3.0 Computer May Cause Service Delays

With Tesla’s Hardware 3.0 computer already in production, it is only a matter of time before the company has to roll out upgrades to the previous second generation hardware.  But will Tesla’s 3.0 computer, while faster, ultimately cause service delays for existing customers?

Tesla CEO Elon Musk previously stressed that the upgrade should be quick and easy for customers. The automaker built the Hardware 3.0 computer with the same physical footprint as its precursor for this very reason. While he initially stated that the Hardware 3.0 installation would require a trip to a service center, it seems like he now expects that Tesla’s mobile service team should be able to handle the job. 

Those who purchased the Full Self-Driving Package will be offered the retrofit for free.

Tesla’s Mobile Service Team

On one hand, using Tesla’s mobile service team for the upgrades seems like a good move for the automaker.  Rather than performing the retrofit at a service center, which would cause all sorts of bottlenecks due to the sheer volume of electric vehicles requiring the upgrade, Tesla can send technicians to customers’ homes.  It is more convenient for the customer, and then the service centers can focus on vehicle repairs and other more urgent work. 

But on the other hand, will it really make things any faster?  Tesla’s mobile service team is already inundated with work, and there are hundreds of thousands of cars which may need this upgrade.  Customers are already forced to wait weeks or even months to get some services done.  With the biggest complaint among the Tesla community being its customer service (or lack thereof),  we can only imagine what will happen once the supercomputer replacement is added to the to-do list.

Tesla’s Faster Hardware 3.0 Computer

Elon Musk is already bragging about the increased processor speed of the Hardware 3.0 upgrade.

Build specifically to achieve autonomous driving, the custom computer should be able to provide Tesla cars with a 1,000% improvement in processing power compared to the existing NVIDIA hardware.  While the NVIDIA Drive PX 2 can process 20 frames per second, Tesla claims its own chip can process 2,000 frames per second with full redundancy and fail-over.  Redundancy is essential to make sure that the car reacts safely to issues and the environment by reducing errors. 

Musk claims that the Hardware 3.0 update is “at about 5% compute load” when handling basic navigational tasks. In comparison, Hardware 2.5 is at about an 80% compute load when processing similar tasks.

Tesla and NVIDIA

While Tesla previously relied on NVIDIA’s Drive PX 2, the Hardware 3.0 upgrade is the automaker’s new in-house replacement. 

NVIDIA’s original expertise lies in video game graphics, where the hardware is required to solve multiple problems at the same time.  This skill turned out to be quite a boon when it came to artificial intelligence and autonomous driving, which is how they ended up working with Tesla in the first place.  In October of 2018, however, Tesla decided to drop NVIDIA in order to pursue the development of their own hardware.

But no matter which computer lies in your Tesla, Elon Musk says that there should not be any problems in getting the upgrade. 

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