Tesla’s been quietly rolling out their next-gen self-driving computer and gear, called HW4, in the Model S and X for a hot minute now. Even though the automaker hasn’t officially announced HW4 existence yet, let alone spilled the beans on any deets, they’ve been slipping it into deliveries since March.
Talk about mysterious! The new hardware started showing up in the Model Y recently too (Tesla’s Latest Model Y Vehicles Come Equipped with HW4 Self-Driving Hardware), but for some odd reason, one key part isn’t making its way into the new EV SUV, the fancy high-def radar unit. Tesla ditched radar for “Tesla Vision” last year only to bring it back for the S and X with HW4. But the radar isn’t coming to the Model Y, for now at least.
There are so many question marks here! Why add some new HW4 gear like upgraded cameras and computers but leave out the radar? Could be supply chain issues or something else. No word on when the radar might start hitting Model Y production lines or if Tesla will retrofit the Model Y built without it. The latter seems likely so the SUVs can truly use all of HW4 abilities.
One crucial thing to remember is even if the Model Y had the radar, the software to leverage it isn’t ready yet. The S, X, and Y are all still using the same Autopilot and Full Self-Driving tech, radar or no radar.
According to some users, parking is one task where vision alone is not enough. In high-fog conditions, the radar can prevent forward collisions. So why would Tesla include HW4 in the Model Y without the radar?
The rollout of HW4 has been confusing, to say the least. While it’s exciting Tesla is upgrading its self-driving hardware, the uneven way its being deployed and lack of details leave a lot to wonder about. The future of fully autonomous Tesla seems hazier than ever. For now, we’ll have to sit tight until the automaker clears things up and the new hardware’s potential can actually be realized. The waiting game continues!