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Updating HW2.5 model 3 to HW3 without purchasing FSD?

Is it possible to update my HW2.5, Sep 2018, model 3 to the new tesla FSD chip without paying for FSD? I have heard that basic autopilot works much better with the new chipset and I would like to be able to trial FSD when monthly rentals come out.

I asked Tesla service about it and they were utterly confused. The tech directed me to an article about upgrading the infotainment system on S and X. If this is possible, what is the part/ service that I should request.

Please don’t reply with “just buy FSD”
 

RTPEV

Active Member
Mar 21, 2016
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Durham, NC
I suspect it's not possible or "affordable". And call me a skeptic, but I also don't think that the claim of "basic autopilot works much better with the new chipset" is based in hard fact. More likely a subjective opinion. Having gone from 2.5 to 3.0, I can say that my pet peeves about autopilot have not been alleviated. Did your source list any particular shortcomings of 2.5 AP that worked better with 3.0?
 

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
10,762
9,801
Visalia, CA
Is it possible to update my HW2.5, Sep 2018, model 3 to the new tesla FSD chip without paying for FSD?

If you are in China, the answer is yes you can get a free hardware upgrade to HW3.0 without paying for Autopilot, Enhanced Autopilot nor FSD.

If you are not in China such as EU, Australia, USA... the answer is no, you cannot. You have to pay.

It's because China government seems to be more consumer-friendly while others are more company-friendly.

I have heard that basic autopilot works much better with the new chipset

Since Autopilot only 2 functions:

1) TACC
2) Keep in the same lane

Those 2 functions only require 1 front camera, 1 front radar so the bandwidth is very minimal. It doesn't matter if you got the fastest computer in the world, it doesn't help due to very limited tasks.


...I would like to be able to trial FSD when monthly rentals come out....

It's a very interesting scenario. Usually, you have to pay FSD to get proper hardware to play FSD but now there's a subscription! So who's going to pay for the $10,000 hardware upgrade so a driver can pay a subscription only for one single month (what if that owner keeps the car for 20 years and only paid one month subscription for a very small fraction of $10,000)?

I have no answer there!

...I asked Tesla service about it and they were utterly confused...

See the above.
 
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I have FSD in both our Model S and Model 3. Both cars were upgraded from HW2.5 to HW3. Other than the enhanced visualizations, I can’t say that I’ve noticed any difference in the performance of FSD features. Not worth upgrading to HW3 without FSD if that option becomes available someday, in my opinion.

Regarding the upcoming FSD subscription, there’s no way that will include a free upgrade to HW3, especially since FSD does function on HW2.5. I suppose Tesla could offer the subscription only to HW3 cars if they want to. We’ll know once it actually becomes available.
 

stopcrazypp

Well-Known Member
Dec 8, 2007
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If you are in China, the answer is yes you can get a free hardware upgrade to HW3.0 without paying for Autopilot, Enhanced Autopilot nor FSD.

If you are not in China such as EU, Australia, USA... the answer is no, you cannot. You have to pay.

It's because China government seems to be more consumer-friendly while others are more company-friendly.
No, it's not because China is more consumer friendly. It's because Tesla specifically listed the part for HW3 in their vehicle documents in China, but delivered HW2.5. Tesla didn't list HW3 in other regions, so they don't owe anyone HW3 for other regions. I've seen this repeated incorrectly elsewhere and someone correcting it, so I remember.
Tesla delivered cars to customers in China with lower-performance Autopilot hardware than promised

This Chinese article I found explained it best. The official environment protection info sheet that came with the car specifically listed 1462554 (controller part number for HW3), what came with the affected cars were 1483112 (controller part number for HW2.5).
Google Translate
Legally, Tesla is not allowed to install a different controller than what they certified for the car with the government. That's why they were quickly ordered to fix the issue.

Since Autopilot only 2 functions:

1) TACC
2) Keep in the same lane

Those 2 functions only require 1 front camera, 1 front radar so the bandwidth is very minimal. It doesn't matter if you got the fastest computer in the world, it doesn't help due to very limited tasks.




It's a very interesting scenario. Usually, you have to pay FSD to get proper hardware to play FSD but now there's a subscription! So who's going to pay for the $10,000 hardware upgrade so a driver can pay a subscription only for one single month (what if that owner keeps the car for 20 years and only paid one month subscription for a very small fraction of $10,000)?

I have no answer there!



See the above.
Don't know if it remains true, but HW3 back when it came out gave extra visualizations that HW2.5 didn't give.
Tesla HW3: Everything You Need To Know
 
Last edited:

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
14,322
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Riverside Co. CA
Is it possible to update my HW2.5, Sep 2018, model 3 to the new tesla FSD chip without paying for FSD? I have heard that basic autopilot works much better with the new chipset and I would like to be able to trial FSD when monthly rentals come out.

I asked Tesla service about it and they were utterly confused. The tech directed me to an article about upgrading the infotainment system on S and X. If this is possible, what is the part/ service that I should request.

Please don’t reply with “just buy FSD”

Not currently, no.
 
Regarding the upcoming FSD subscription, there’s no way that will include a free upgrade to HW3, especially since FSD does function on HW2.5. I suppose Tesla could offer the subscription only to HW3 cars if they want to. We’ll know once it actually becomes available.

Since when do all features of FSD work on HW 2.5? If that was true, they wouldn't need to update you to HW3 when you bought FSD. They're even upgrading S/X cars that go in for MCU1-MCU2 upgrades to HW3 at the same time for "free" even if they currently have HW2.5.

If Tesla does not make every feature of FSD available on HW2.5, then they must offer free HW3 upgrades to anyone that wants an FSD subscription. Remember that every single car delivered since October 2016 has been sold with "has all HW required for FSD included". The instant they differentiate a HW2/HW2.5 car from a HW3 car for anyone that pays for FSD (outright or subscription) they have a class action lawsuit on their hands. This also means they can never sell a HW2-HW3 upgrade because the instant they do, they have acknowledged a functional difference between them, and defined the value difference.

I know I will be subscribing to FSD for one month myself the instant it's available.
 

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
10,762
9,801
Visalia, CA
No, it's not because China is more consumer friendly. It's because Tesla specifically listed the part for HW3 in their vehicle documents in China, but delivered HW2.5. Tesla didn't list HW3 in other regions, so they don't owe anyone HW3 for other regions. I've seen this repeated incorrectly elsewhere and someone correcting it, so I remember....

I don't think Tesla is just listing the particular part number on an official China government document (what looks like a US equivalent Monroney sticker with EPA info as well as listings of other features and parts) just as a "nice" gesture.

v2-d9cd1e261b8c8736bc57057f59fcf0f3_720w[1].jpg


I think it is because the China government requires it while other governments outside of China don't care.

That China listing rule protects Chinese consumers while others outside of China has no such protection because of no such rule.

Similarly, Tesla didn't recall the suspension problem until China government's pressure. I don't think Tesla was volunteering to do that as a nice gesture but it wrote a blog saying that there's no suspension problem but it will fix it for free in China.

Thus, China government's rules/actions result in consumers' protection while non-China's rules/actions are pro-Tesla because non-China customers have to pay for the above issues.

Also, when was the last time 5 Federal Agencies would gang up on Tesla and tell Tesla to shape up on quality except in China?

1) General Administration of Market Supervision
2) Central Cyberspace Administration of China
3) Ministry of Industry and Information Technology
4) Ministry of Transport
5) Fire and Rescue Bureau of the Ministry of Emergency Management

And where in the world thanked the government for summoning it for a pep talk on quality except in China?


China customers didn't have to pay for the MCU issue thanks to the recall at that time but the rest of the world had to pay for that issue until recently.


...Don't know if it remains true, but HW3 back when it came out gave extra visualizations that HW2.5 didn't give....
Tesla HW3: Everything You Need To Know

That's the issue for this thread that if an owner has lower than HW3.0, can that owner get an upgrade to HW3.0 by just enrolling in a subscription to enjoy a trial of FSD for a fraction price of $10,000. Especially, if the owner won't want to continue the trial after the cost of paying 1 month of subscription.

If HW2.5 can do FSD then there's no need to ask if there's any additional cost for HW3.0 upgrade in order to subscribe FSD.
 
Last edited:

stopcrazypp

Well-Known Member
Dec 8, 2007
12,043
7,841
I don't think Tesla is just listing the particular part number on an official China government document (what looks like a US equivalent Monroney sticker with EPA info as well as listings of other features and parts) just as a "nice" gesture.

View attachment 645834

I think it is because the China government requires it while other governments outside of China don't care.

That China listing rule protects Chinese consumers while others outside of China has no such protection because of no such rule.
That's not my point. The point is more the implication that somehow China was able to force Tesla, based on "FSD Capable" promises, to retrofit HW3 for free to all HW2.5 cars, even without the FSD option. I saw someone claim that and was corrected. The fact however is Tesla was never forced to retrofit HW3 on all HW2.5 cars in China, only the later ones that had that paperwork and was certified with the government to have it.

There were older ones (especially the ones that were imported from the US before the Shanghai factory was operational) that had HW2.5, but they were not included in the ones getting the HW3 retrofit. Those owners in China are in the exact same situation as the OP (they need to buy the FSD option to get retrofitted for free). That paper is completely irrelevant to them.
Similarly, Tesla didn't recall the suspension problem until China government's pressure. I don't think Tesla was volunteering to do that as a nice gesture but it wrote a blog saying that there's no suspension problem but it will fix it for free in China.

Thus, China government's rules/actions result in consumers' protection while non-China's rules/actions are pro-Tesla because non-China customers have to pay for the above issues.
This is no different from NHTSA calling for a recall, which they certainly do if they feel the issue warranties it. In the suspension problem China called for it first (NHTSA is looking into it now). For the memory issue, the NHTSA called for it first and Tesla didn't issue a recall in China until after the US recall. There's no pattern that suggest China is necessarily more proactive.
That's the issue for this thread that if an owner has lower than HW3.0, can that owner get an upgrade to HW3.0 by just enrolling in a subscription to enjoy a trial of FSD for a fraction price of $10,000. Especially, if the owner won't want to continue the trial after the cost of paying 1 month of subscription.

If HW2.5 can do FSD then there's no need to ask if there's any additional cost for HW3.0 upgrade in order to subscribe FSD.
 
Since when do all features of FSD work on HW 2.5? If that was true, they wouldn't need to update you to HW3 when you bought FSD. They're even upgrading S/X cars that go in for MCU1-MCU2 upgrades to HW3 at the same time for "free" even if they currently have HW2.5.

If Tesla does not make every feature of FSD available on HW2.5, then they must offer free HW3 upgrades to anyone that wants an FSD subscription. Remember that every single car delivered since October 2016 has been sold with "has all HW required for FSD included". The instant they differentiate a HW2/HW2.5 car from a HW3 car for anyone that pays for FSD (outright or subscription) they have a class action lawsuit on their hands. This also means they can never sell a HW2-HW3 upgrade because the instant they do, they have acknowledged a functional difference between them, and defined the value difference.

I know I will be subscribing to FSD for one month myself the instant it's available.
What if they offer FSD Lite to HW 2.5? Whatever that would turn out to be. Some kind of FSD that will run on HW 2.5 but is not as advanced as the version that runs on HW3. Would that fulfill their vague "has all HW required for FSD included"? Maybe they could get FSD HW3 working first and say they will offer a version of FSD to HW2.5 soon...

Would you accept a subscription term requirement to get the HW3 upgrade? Probably not, based on your post. I'm just wondering how they might try and satisfy the terms without giving everyone the free upgrade.
 
Would you accept a subscription term requirement to get the HW3 upgrade? Probably not, based on your post. I'm just wondering how they might try and satisfy the terms without giving everyone the free upgrade.
As someone that bought a Model X in 2016, being told FSD was less than 9 months away, there is no way that I deserve "FSD lite" vs someone that bought a few months ago.
If they want to sell FSD subscriptions, they have to do HW upgrades to anyone that subscribes, just like they have had to do upgrades for people that bought full FSD. And there can be zero difference in price or features or subscription terms based on your HW. Back when they transitioned from HW2 to HW 2.5 or HW2.5 to HW3, Tesla refused to tell you what HW you were getting because "all cars have the HW needed". They have hitched themselves to this quite deeply.
 
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Is it possible to update my HW2.5, Sep 2018, model 3 to the new tesla FSD chip without paying for FSD? I have heard that basic autopilot works much better with the new chipset and I would like to be able to trial FSD when monthly rentals come out.

I asked Tesla service about it and they were utterly confused. The tech directed me to an article about upgrading the infotainment system on S and X. If this is possible, what is the part/ service that I should request.

Please don’t reply with “just buy FSD”
Big debate in your thread...

There have been a couple reports of such an upgrade of just the FSD happening, but it seems like it is not usually done.

The SC gave you good info on the Infotainment upgrade (MCU1 to MCU2) though. For some reason, Tesla has bundled the upgrades of MCU2 with the FSD HW3 upgrade. The article they sent you should talk about the costs for MCU2 ( should still be $1500 for MCU2 and $500 if you want FM/Sirius radio also / USA, at this writing. Had it done on ours within 2 weeks on a 2017 MX.). The story seems to be that Tesla has bundled the parts for MCU2 and the HW3 FSD computer in the upgrade package. They even recently dropped the MCU2 upgrade price from $2500 to $1500, so not sure, but it seems like they are committed to getting FSD HW3 into as many cars as possible. Seems like they take a little payment on the MCU2 and get the FSD upgrade done as well. The SC I went to in NJ even had the package in stock and seemed very knowledgeable about it (can’t hurt they make dollars on it, I’m guessing.)

So, can you get the FSD upgrade for free? Seems rare to get it by itself, but if you pay for MCU2, then they throw in HW3. As a bonus you get the benefits of both MCU2/HW3; new visualizations for cones/trash cans/ pedestrians, 3 camera backup view with side repeaters, additional infotainment widgets , your in car manual will work again!, faster main console response, replace eMMC unit to avoid failure. There are a bunch of threads here on the forum to read about MCU2 upgrades.

So, just ask for ‘MCU2 upgrade’, it should be listed in the app now under ‘upgrades’ as well. Will be billed as $1500 straight charge. If you want to retain FM/Sirius radio, ask to have the radio upgrade installed as well, $500 additional.
 
I know I will be subscribing to FSD for one month myself the instant it's available.
I would be very surprised if Tesla will allow you to subscribe for a single month, especially if there is a hardware upgrade requirement.

Most likely there will be a minimum month requirement (i.e. yearly subscription) to make it worthwhile for Tesla. I don't think we will see a subscription plan that will allow you to only subscribe for that one-week road trip you take every year.
 
I would be very surprised if Tesla will allow you to subscribe for a single month, especially if there is a hardware upgrade requirement.

Most likely there will be a minimum month requirement (i.e. yearly subscription) to make it worthwhile for Tesla. I don't think we will see a subscription plan that will allow you to only subscribe for that one-week road trip you take every year.

Tesla could limit the subscription to cars that already have HW3. They’re not required to make the subscription available to everyone, as long as everyone still has the option to buy FSD and get the HW3 upgrade. They could make the HW3 upgrade available for a fee for people who want the subscription.
 
@cobra - They have a Model 3, not an S/X. There is no MCU2 upgrade for a Model 3.

I would be very surprised if Tesla will allow you to subscribe for a single month, especially if there is a hardware upgrade requirement.
It's fine if you have to subscribe for more than one month, as long as everyone has the same minimum. There just can't be any difference based on what HW you have. Tesla will have to decide if they want to make all ~750k HW3 vehicles subscribe to longer terms just to prevent "free" "upgrades" for the ~150k vehicles with HW2/2.5.

And the thing with all of this is that it's not a "free upgrade." It's not even an "upgrade." Tesla told every buyer their car already had the HW required for FSD. This is Tesla's mistake. Tesla has never one advertised "HW2" "HW2.5" or "HW3". All they have ever advertised is "all cars have HW required for FSD."

Tesla could limit the subscription to cars that already have HW3. They’re not required to make the subscription available to everyone, as long as everyone still has the option to buy FSD and get the HW3 upgrade. They could make the HW3 upgrade available for a fee for people who want the subscription.

Tesla can, and then they will instantly get sued. "All Tesla cars have the hardware required for FSD." Clearly that is not true if they limit an FSD subscription to only those with specific hardware packages that were never advertised or exposed to customers. Now they are guilty of false advertising, and customers have damages. They did not say "has the hardware for non-subscription FSD." There is no way Tesla will be able to show that FSD as a subscription is not the same as FSD as a single purchase- it will be the same software.

Those damages will be substantial too. If Tesla offers FSD subscriptions for $400 a month, and full FSD purchases for $5000, and tells me that I can't do the sub, only the purchase because my car lacks the HW needed for FSD, then I immediately have $4,600 in damages from their false advertising.

I can't imagine Tesla is not aware of all of this. They are already proactively putting HW3 in Model S/X cars when they are in for some service, even if they don't have an FSD purchase. They know they are just going to need to upgrade all of the HW2/2.5 cars. They've built it into any decisions they are making.

Side note: A lot of HW2.5 cars are still under warranty. It would also be fun to go into the service center and say "When I purchased this car, you said it had all FSD hardware. I can't seem to purchase an FSD subscription. Please fix it under warranty."
 

stopcrazypp

Well-Known Member
Dec 8, 2007
12,043
7,841
As someone that bought a Model X in 2016, being told FSD was less than 9 months away, there is no way that I deserve "FSD lite" vs someone that bought a few months ago.
If they want to sell FSD subscriptions, they have to do HW upgrades to anyone that subscribes, just like they have had to do upgrades for people that bought full FSD. And there can be zero difference in price or features or subscription terms based on your HW. Back when they transitioned from HW2 to HW 2.5 or HW2.5 to HW3, Tesla refused to tell you what HW you were getting because "all cars have the HW needed". They have hitched themselves to this quite deeply.
Unfortunately I am no so optimistic. Tesla won't be dumb enough to call it "FSD lite", but like the differences in visualizations for HW2.5 vs HW3, there will likely be differences depending on HW. Same deal with the MCUs (MCU1 and MCU2 has differences in the software, but there is no "Lite" labeling).

Basically Tesla is legally obligated to provide a bare minimum "FSD" to all, but they are not obligated that the functionality would be exactly the same between all versions, as it's guaranteed there will be better hardware as the models age (for example there will definitely be a HW4 that does more things than HW3).
 
The MCU1/MCU2 distinction does not apply. They never advertised a car in 2016 as being able to play Netflix or Beach Buggy Racing. Note that they did advertise it as having voice commands, which have basically stopped working on MCU1 cars, so they do have an issue there.

They did advertise cars as being able to full self drive without a hardware upgrade. I don't know what an acceptable feature difference is on "full self driving". If HW3 can go around a roundabout, but HW2.5 can't, well, then, clearly HW2.5 isn't FSD. Visualizations are different if they don't impact the actual ability of the car to drive itself.

The issue here is that Tesla sold and charged for FSD and cars with FSD hardware before they had a limited feature set defined. Here's what a car in 2016 was sold against:

All Tesla vehicles produced in our factory, including Model 3, have the hardware needed for full self-driving capability at a safety level substantially greater than that of a human driver.

Build upon Enhanced Autopilot and order Full Self-Driving Capability on your Tesla. This doubles the number of active cameras from four to eight, enabling full self-driving in almost all circumstances, at what we believe will be a probability of safety at least twice as good as the average human driver. The system is designed to be able to conduct short and long distance trips with no action required by the person in the driver’s seat. For Superchargers that have automatic charge connection enabled, you will not even need to plug in your vehicle.

All you will need to do is get in and tell your car where to go. If you don’t say anything, the car will look at your calendar and take you there as the assumed destination or just home if nothing is on the calendar. Your Tesla will figure out the optimal route, navigate urban streets (even without lane markings), manage complex intersections with traffic lights, stop signs and roundabouts, and handle densely packed freeways with cars moving at high speed. When you arrive at your destination, simply step out at the entrance and your car will enter park seek mode, automatically search for a spot and park itself. A tap on your phone summons it back to you.

Please note that Self-Driving functionality is dependent upon extensive software validation and regulatory approval, which may vary widely by jurisdiction. It is not possible to know exactly when each element of the functionality described above will be available, as this is highly dependent on local regulatory approval. Please note also that using a self-driving Tesla for car sharing and ride hailing for friends and family is fine, but doing so for revenue purposes will only be permissible on the Tesla Network, details of which will be released next year.

They told everyone it has the hardware to "be able to conduct short and long distance trips with no action required by the person in the driver’s seat.". If they ever have SW that can do this one one HW set but not another, they owe owners a free hardware change, because that is what was sold to them as far back as 2016. If they don't, then I am 100% sure the courts will end up deciding. Maybe Tesla can get away with a feature difference if they argue it is a short term difference- "don't worry, we'll have FSD on your HW in 3 months" - but that sets them up for even more damages if it doesn't end up being true.

Tesla will have an issue when they go HW3 to HW4 also. They've really screwed themselves with the way they have advertised FSD HW capabilities of their cars.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
14,322
18,156
Riverside Co. CA
As someone that bought a Model X in 2016, being told FSD was less than 9 months away, there is no way that I deserve "FSD lite" vs someone that bought a few months ago.
If they want to sell FSD subscriptions, they have to do HW upgrades to anyone that subscribes, just like they have had to do upgrades for people that bought full FSD. And there can be zero difference in price or features or subscription terms based on your HW. Back when they transitioned from HW2 to HW 2.5 or HW2.5 to HW3, Tesla refused to tell you what HW you were getting because "all cars have the HW needed". They have hitched themselves to this quite deeply.

They actually just have to tell you that your vehicle doesnt qualify for the subscription / its not available for your vin... or, alternatively, tell everyone that FSD subscription is available in yearly increments.

There is virtually zero chance that tesla has not seen the "I am going to subscribe for a month to get the computer, then cancel" gigantic loophole some think exists.

Not like I think tesla is super great at this sort of thing, but anyone and everyone can see that loophole, so its going to be addressed by either not allowing FSD subscription for HW2.5 vehicles, or Stating which features exactly work with which your vin and having someone sign off on that, or making FSD be a yearly subscription, not monthly.

Whoever bought FSD back then in 2016 is eligible for the hardware upgrade... right? We are not talking about anyone who purchased FSD... or am I mis understanding that? The only people who would be subscribing are people who dont own it, and what they were told in 2016 has nothing to do with now, because they didnt buy it then... right?
 

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