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article imageTesla to offer self-driving chip upgrade for older models

By Ken Hanly     Jul 8, 2019 in Technology
Tesla CEO Elon Musk claims the company will most likely start to retrofit its new, more powerful full self-driving chip into older Tesla vehicles near the end of 2019.
The new FSD chip
The new FSD chip is the first such technology to have been designed in house by Tesla. The automaker claims that the chip provides 21 times the performance of the Nividia chip it replaces, but Nividia disputes that claim. The new chip has already been shipping in Model S, X, and Model 3 vehicles. And, according to Musk, it will soon be offered as an upgrade to half a million owners of older Tesla vehicles.
Musk boasts that the new chip has sufficient power to allow for fully self-driving vehicles once the software is available. The upgraded FSD computer contains two of the chips for redundancy. The company claims that the new chip costs 20 percent less than the Nividia hardware it replaces, yet draws only a bit more power.
Chip upgrade offered free for those who have Full Self-Driving package
The Full Self Driving package costs $6,000. Musk estimates around 500,000 older vehicles are compatible with the new chip, but not all will be eligible for the upgrade. The add-on package gives drivers access to Tesla's Navigate on Autopilot feature which guides the driver to make lane changes, navigate highway interchanges and even proactively exit highways. If vehicles do not have this feature, they are limited to the regular autopilot that provides automatic steering and adaptive cruise control.
Full Self-Driving package name is controversial
Last October, Tesla stopped promoting the Full Self-Driving package claiming that it caused too much confusion for its customers. The Navigate on Autopilot the package it enables is not at all equivalent to full self-driving functionality. However, this February the option returned with the same name despite the fact it is arguably misnamed.
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