Tesla’s new self-driving (HW4) laptop leaks: this is a teardown

Tesla’s new self-driving laptop, {Hardware} 4.0 (HW4), has leaked because the automaker seems to be already constructing some vehicles with the upgraded system.

Right here’s a primary teardown.

Now we have identified that Tesla has been making ready an improve to its Autopilot/self-driving {hardware} for a bit now.

Most notably, Tesla filed with the FCC so as to add a brand new radar on its autos and stated that it deliberate to begin advertising and marketing it in January.

A brand new radar would imply that Tesla plans to replace its sensor suite for Autopilot and self-driving.

Now we have additionally heard that the automaker is altering its cameras, in keeping with a submitting with Chinese language regulators.

Lastly, Tesla is predicted to supply a brand new self-driving laptop to merge all these new sensors right into a extra highly effective computing platform.

All these {hardware} adjustments have been aggravating for Tesla homeowners for the reason that automaker has been promising that every one its autos constructed since 2016 have all of the {hardware} crucial to realize self-driving by means of software program updates.

It turned out to not be true as Tesla wanted a extra highly effective laptop (HW3), but it surely did provide the retrofit to current homeowners totally free.

Now CEO Elon Musk confirmed that Tesla is not going to present retrofit to HW4, however he stated that the automaker nonetheless plans to ship on its self-driving guarantees with HW3 and that HW4 will solely push the efficiency increased.

Tesla Autopilot/Self-Driving {Hardware} 4.0

The teardown comes courtesy of Inexperienced The Solely, a well known Tesla hacker and tinkerer who has persistently revealed a variety of new details about Tesla autos by hacking the automaker’s software program and tearing down its {hardware}.

On this case, he managed to get his fingers on a brand new HW4 laptop from a brand new Mannequin X car. We received’t go into particulars about how.

There are some indications that Tesla is implementing the brand new {hardware} suite within the Mannequin X first with the automaker having simply put up on the market its show and take a look at drive fleet, which Tesla typically does later in 1 / 4. It might imply that Tesla is liquidating its Mannequin X models in preparation for the brand new {hardware}.

Inexperienced began the teardown by confirming what Musk not too long ago stated: don’t anticipate a retrofit.

Tesla’s self-driving laptop is mixed with its infotainment laptop, which has additionally been up to date with this HW4 improve.

Inexperienced stated in regards to the change:

Infotainment was reworked in comparison with present models. The GPU is now on the identical board, so no extra GPU daughterboard. This makes the entire unit thinner, in any other case no adjustments there – similar 256G NVMe and 16G RAM, similar AMD CPU and GPU.

As for Tesla’s precise HW4 laptop, Inexperienced sees much less enchancment than what was hoped:

He did notice that there are some enhancements in safety. Musk talked about hackability of self-driving autos was a prime concern at Tesla.

On the draw back, the hacker’s personal measurement reveals that the brand new board has the next energy consumption than HW3 when idle.

Inexperienced famous that Tesla has additionally made enhancements to the redundancy of the system, which is clearly essential in a self-driving car:

Redundancy is the secret this time? The board is generally symmetric, with equivalent energy connections on either side. There are even two community hyperlinks to infotainment. But… if you happen to unpower the A facet, that kills the community swap and the hyperlink is misplaced. Nonetheless the enhancements are there.

Now for what individuals have all been ready for: the sensors.

Clearly, that is the pc and never the sensors, however the connectors can provide us extra details about the brand new sensors in HW4.

Now Tesla has been shifting to a vision-based (cameras) strategy and it has made a giant deal of eradicating its radar and ultrasonic sensors.

There’s excellent news with HW4. Tesla seems to be together with extra cameras. There are at present 8 cameras in Tesla’s {hardware} suite, however now the brand new laptop has connectors for 12 cameras – though one connector is marked as “spare”.

So we’re speaking about seemingly 11 cameras. Now as for the digicam placement, it appears to be like like all the present cameras stay aside from a two digicam setup within the windshield relatively than the present three-front-facing digicam setup.

Whereas the knowledge is tough to decrypt, Inexperienced sees indications that Tesla might need added cameras within the bumpers:

What’s SVC you may surprise? In line with Tesla EPC, SVC is a bumper cowl. So I’d guess these are bumper cameras. There’s an enormous blindspot upfront on legacy vehicles up entrance (welcome to the legacy camp, Plaid homeowners!), so entrance bumper digicam and two within the (rear?) bumper corners for cross site visitors alerts (esp. with pillar moved ahead)?

Inexperienced additionally discovered a connection for a brand new GPS module with a triband antenna:

The hacker famous in regards to the new GPS unit:

The unit itself is huge and unmarked, so who makes it’s unknown, I might not be shocked if it’s considerably customized Tesla factor. They carry a bootloader for it in firmware.

Lastly, Inexperienced additionally discovered proof of Tesla’s integrating a radar again into its sensor suite:

Musk informed Electrek in June of final 12 months after Tesla stopped utilizing its radar:

The likelihood of security shall be increased with pure imaginative and prescient than imaginative and prescient+radar, not decrease. Imaginative and prescient has change into so good that radar truly reduces sign/noise.

Nevertheless, the CEO additionally added that Tesla may nonetheless use radar if it had a “very high-resolution radar”:

A really excessive decision radar can be higher than pure imaginative and prescient, however such a radar doesn’t exist. I imply imaginative and prescient with excessive res radar can be higher than pure imaginative and prescient.

We noticed some indications of Tesla engaged on that. We beforehand reported on Tesla trying so as to add a brand new “4D” imaging radar with twice the vary of its earlier radar.

That top-resolution radar was codenamed “phoenix” so it is perhaps the very radar that makes it to the brand new {hardware} suite.

It’s not clear when Tesla plans to make the brand new HW4 official, however the timing of the March 1st Investor Day makes it a probable contender for an official announcement.

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