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

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 automobiles with the upgraded system.

Right here’s a primary teardown.

We have now recognized 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 automobiles and mentioned 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.

We have now additionally heard that the automaker is altering its cameras, in accordance with a submitting with Chinese language regulators.

Lastly, Tesla is anticipated to provide 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 annoying for Tesla homeowners because the automaker has been promising that each one its automobiles constructed since 2016 have all of the {hardware} crucial to realize self-driving by 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 present homeowners without spending a dime.

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

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 numerous new details about Tesla automobiles by hacking the automaker’s software program and tearing down its {hardware}.

On this case, he managed to get his arms on a brand new HW4 laptop from a brand new Mannequin X automobile. 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 may imply that Tesla is liquidating its Mannequin X items in preparation for the brand new {hardware}.

Inexperienced began the teardown by confirming what Musk not too long ago mentioned: 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 mentioned concerning the change:

Infotainment was reworked in comparison with present items. 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 observe that there are some enhancements in safety. Musk talked about hackability of self-driving automobiles was a high concern at Tesla.

On the draw back, the hacker’s personal measurement exhibits 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 necessary in a self-driving automobile:

Redundancy is the secret this time? The board is usually symmetric, with an identical energy connections on all sides. There are even two community hyperlinks to infotainment. But… in the event you 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 transferring to a vision-based (cameras) method 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 the moment 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 like all the present cameras stay aside from a two digicam setup within the windshield reasonably than the present three-front-facing digicam setup.

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

What’s SVC you would possibly surprise? Based on Tesla EPC, SVC is a bumper cowl. So I’d guess these are bumper cameras. There’s an enormous blindspot upfront on legacy automobiles up entrance (welcome to the legacy camp, Plaid homeowners!), so entrance bumper digicam and two within the (rear?) bumper corners for cross 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 concerning the new GPS unit:

The unit itself is massive 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 yr after Tesla stopped utilizing its radar:

The likelihood of security shall be greater with pure imaginative and prescient than imaginative and prescient+radar, not decrease. Imaginative and prescient has turn out to be so good that radar really reduces sign/noise.

Nonetheless, the CEO additionally added that Tesla would possibly 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 wanting 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 likely to be 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 1 Investor Day makes it a probable contender for an official announcement.

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