Tesla CEO Says Vehicles Will Get Major Hardware Revisions Every Year

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【Summary】In a response to a question that asked about the possibility of an upgrade path for existing Tesla owners, CEO Elon Musk stated that upgrading older vehicles wasn’t possible, as the automaker plans to come out with major hardware revisions every year.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Jan 31, 2017 4:38 PM PT
Tesla CEO Says Vehicles Will Get Major Hardware Revisions Every Year

If there's one automaker that is leading the way for the entire world, it's Tesla. The electric automaker got off to a rough start with the Roadster in 2008, but has come out with electric cars that pave the way forward with advanced powertrains that help reduce emissions and innovative driver systems. 

It's safe to say that Tesla's innovations and the technological steps that the automaker has taken are well beyond what other automakers do. But according to the automaker's CEO and founder Elon Musk, Tesla will continue to innovate at an incredible rate. 

Upgrades, Upgrades, And More Upgrades

When questioned about the possibility of an upgrade path for owners who are interested in obtaining the automaker's latest set of sensors, hardware, and various components for their old vehicles, Musk didn't have anything comforting to say. 

"Tesla will never stop innovating," stated Musk on Twitter. "People are buying the wrong car if they expect this. There will be major revs every 12 to 18 months." 

While that's not something an existing Tesla owner wants to hear, it's a revolutionary rate. As TechCrunch points out, the majority of automakers like Volkswagen, Toyota, and General Motors usually stick with a model for a few years before coming out with an all-new generation of the vehicle. And if the automaker decides to come out with an update, it adds them one at a time and not all at once.  

Current Tesla owners may feel like they're being left out in the dark, but Musk has a good reason as to why the automaker can't take the time to upgrade old vehicles. "If we applied resources to doing super complex retrofits, our pace of innovation would drop dramatically," Musk stated on Twitter. And it doesn't take a lot of time to understand why that's the case. 

Enhanced Autopilot Is Here

Late last year, the automaker released a version of its Enhanced Autopilot, which is a part of its "2.0 Hardware" for a limited amount of Model S and Model X owners. The plan, when the new technology was originally released, was to do a series of "monthly releases" with the end goal becoming a fully-autonomous vehicle. The new hardware required a couple of new additions to the vehicles, which include eight 360-degree cameras, 12 updated ultrasonic sensors, and an enhanced forward-facing radar system. A new onboard computer with over 40 times the computer power than the one found in the previous generations of vehicles was added, as well. 

With Enhanced Autopilot, and the new components, Tesla's vehicles learned a few new tricks. The cars can now match other cars' speed in traffic, keep itself within a lane, automatically change lanes without any input from the driver, make the transition from one freeway to another, exit the freeway when the vehicle closes in on the driver's destination, park itself, and be summoned to and from a garage. 

Adding all of this technology to older vehicles, as TechCrunch points out, would result in replacing over 300 components, stripping the vehicle to nothing but its frame, and extremely difficult engineering. And working on older vehicles would take Tesla's attention away from further improving its vehicles.

Hearing that Musk is focusing on updating the hardware in its vehicles every year shows the incredible rate at which technology changes in the automotive industry. Last year, Musk boldly claimed that one of the automaker's cars would be able to complete an autonomous trip from Los Angeles, CA to New York, NY by the end of 2017. With less than a year to go, it's clear that Musk and Tesla are going to do everything they can to meet their goal. 

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