What do you do when you get your hands on a Tesla Model 3? If you’re Nikkei Asian Review, you perform a teardown on it to see just exactly what is beneath the surface of the most advanced electric vehicle on the market.
What they found shocked even the most seasoned automotive engineers. The biggest takeaway from their teardown was that the brains of Tesla vehicles, the HW3.0 computer, is so far ahead that an engineer from “a major Japanese automaker” simply said, “We cannot do it.”
The HW3.0 computer is Tesla’s biggest weapon in the rapidly growing electric and autonomous vehicle market. It not only powers the cars’ already impressive self-driving functions, but also the in-car infotainment system.
Industry experts believe that such technology will be needed to handle the heavy data loads expected in the next generation of smarter, connected, and autonomous cars. Those same experts believe that will become more commonplace in the market by 2025 at the earliest, giving Tesla at least a 6 year advantage over the competition.
Given the vast financial resources available to legacy automakers such as Toyota and Volkswagen, there is no reason they couldn’t build something much earlier than 2025, except for one.
That reason is legacy automakers are worried that computers and high-tech cars like Tesla’s will “render obsolete the parts supply chains they have cultivated over the decades.” Since technology like HW3.0 computers drastically cut the number of components needed in a vehicle, suppliers of those components would see an equally drastic drop in demand for their parts.
As Nikkei Asian Review so aptly put it, “the supply chains that have helped today’s auto giants grow are now beginning to hamper their ability to innovate.”