HW4 makes first appearance in Tesla source code, hinting at impending release

Tesla FSD chip

Tesla’s next generation Autopilot and Full Self-Driving (FSD) computer, referred to as Hardware 4 (HW4) or FSD Computer 2, has made its first appearance in the source code of a recent firmware update.

The discovery was made by hacker @greentheonly, who said the additions were part of yesterday’s FSD Beta 10.11 update, which is 2022.4.5.15.

Green explained that while there were rumours the hardware upgrade would mostly involve more/faster RAM, what he saw indicated the changes are more substantial than that, and that the changes could launch “pretty soon.”

Without providing specifics of what exactly was discovered in the code, green added that there appears to be confirmation of a change in the sensor suite, including additional cameras in new locations around the vehicle.

Green also said it HW4 would likely appear first in the Model S, contrary to what Elon Musk said last year.

During his talk at AI Day in August 2021, Musk said that HW4 will “probably” be introduced with the Cybertruck, putting a potential release about one year away based on the Cybertruck’s timeline at the time the comments were made.

As we all know, Tesla has since delayed Cybertruck production until early 2023, meaning a change to adding HW4 to the Model S seem plausible.

The question on everyone’s mind after seeing this is – will Tesla offer a retrofit? The automaker has said all along that cars with the current HW3 are fully capable of running the feature complete FSD software when it arrives, so based on what we know today it seems unlikely that they will.

Musk also hinted at this possibility at AI Day last year, likening the new hardware to how some humans are better drivers than others, meaning HW3 equipped cars will still be able to drive by themselves, just not as well as those with HW4.

“But it’s really just gonna be like, can we take it from, say, for argument’s sake, 300% safer than a person to 1,000% safer. And just like there are people on the road who have varying driving abilities, but we still let people drive. You don’t have to be the world’s best driver to be on the road.”

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Founder and Editor-in-chief of Drive Tesla Canada | Darryn@DriveTeslaCanada.ca Have a Tesla tip? Email tips@driveteslacanada.ca, or DM us on Twitter @DriveTeslaca