Tesla adds full self-driving hardware to entire production lineup

All production vehicles from Tesla, including the Model 3, will come with new hardware 'that will give the car the ability to drive better than a human.' It will take sometime to enable, however.
Written by Jake Smith, Contributor
Tesla Model 3 (CNET/CBS Interactive)

Tesla on Wednesday announced its entire vehicle lineup will be built with the necessary hardware to enable full self-driving, including on the Model 3, Model S, and Model X.

"We are excited to announce that, as of today, all Tesla vehicles produced in our factory - including Model 3 - will have the hardware needed for full self-driving capability at a safety level substantially greater than that of a human driver," Tesla wrote in an announcement.

While the Model 3 won't be available for sometime, Tesla said new Model S and Model X vehicles with full level 5 autonomy hardware are already in production.

Tesla said each car it produces will have: "Eight surround cameras provide 360 degree visibility around the car at up to 250 meters of range. Twelve updated ultrasonic sensors complement this vision, allowing for detection of both hard and soft objects at nearly twice the distance of the prior system. A forward-facing radar with enhanced processing provides additional data about the world on a redundant wavelength, capable of seeing through heavy rain, fog, dust and even the car ahead."

Full autonomy won't be available immediately, and for now, Tesla's Autopilot will still require driver assistance. Tesla will roll out features over-the-air as they become available after sufficient real-world testing is performed.

"It will take us some time to complete the validation of the software and get regulatory approval but the important thing is that the foundation is laid," for full autonomous driving, Tesla CEO Elon Musk explained on a call with reporters.

Musk added the technology could take a passenger from LA to New York and lashed out at negative media reports against the first-generation of Autopilot, linked to a handful of crashes around the globe.

Tesla also announced a new onboard computer with "more than 40 times the computing power of the previous generation." The chip runs the new Tesla-developed neural net for vision, sonar and radar processing software.

Tesla Model S front redesign [in pictures]

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