We were expecting Tesla to announce a new high-resolution radar unit for the Model S and Model X last month, but Tesla later requested the information stay confidential until March. The new radar unit is suspected to be part of Tesla’s next-generation self-driving computer known as Hardware 4 (HW4), or Autopilot 4 (AP4).
While Tesla has yet to officially announce HW4/AP4, the automaker has been approved to sell the new hardware in Europe on the Model S and Model X. The European Type Certificate issued by the Dutch vehicle authority “RDW” is dated January 20, 2023 and among the items listed as approved includes “Introduction of Generation 4 complex vehicle control system (Autopilot).” (via TFF)
Other items listed as approved include new “Gen3 inverters”, changes to the automatic headlights, “unification of Model X brake system application,” a new rear view mirror bracket for the Model X, and updates to the engine code, rear badging and maximum speed (more on this in a bit).
Unfortunately the document doesn’t list when these changes will be in production or when they will make their way into the hands of customers, but based on the full list of items the latest builds of the Model S and Model X could already have them included. This is because the update to the rear badging of the Model S already happened in North America last month (lining up with the mid-January date mentioned above), and since Fremont is the only factory that produces the flagship vehicles, it stands to reason that HW4/AP4 is already in the next batch of vehicles destined for Europe.
This approval also all but confirms that HW4/AP4 will first debut on the Model S/X as has long been suspected.
Another interesting part of this approval is the increase to the maximum speed. The document details the speed increase for the Model S as being “280km/h from factory; 322km/h with optional Carbon Ceramic Brake Kit.”
This is yet another sign the long-awaited Carbon Ceramic Brake Kit is finally going to be offered to customers soon. The $27,500 CAD/$20,000 USD accessory was originally listed on the Tesla Shop in late 2021, but is now listed with a release date of “Early 2023.”
We also told you last month that Tesla updated the “Additional vehicle information” screen in the Model S Plaid to show what brakes the car has, giving another hint that the upgrade will soon be available.
You can read more on what we know so far about HW4/AP4 here. Elon Musk has also recently said that there will be no need for a retrofit to HW4/AP4 for cars equipped with the current HW3 computer, explaining that it won’t be necessary as HW3 will still be far safer than a human driver. Musk also said it wouldn’t be cost effective to offer a retrofit.