My HW3 upgrade experience (West Palm Beach FL)

My HW3 upgrade experience (West Palm Beach FL)

I just had my 2018 S100D upgraded to HW3 at the West Palm Beach FL service center, and wanted to share my experience, which was good.

I found out that my car was on the HW3 upgrade list by contacting the service center via e-mail and asking, just before Christmas. It took almost a week to get a response, and they told me that my Model S (but not my wife's Model 3) was on the list and the computer was en route to the service center, and they would contact me to schedule the upgrade when it arrived. I didn't hear anything for a while, so I contacted them in mid-January, and they confirmed that they received the computer, and we scheduled the upgrade for Feb 10 (this past Monday). I could have gotten an earlier appointment in January, but I was traveling so I chose to wait. I also added a few routine maintenance items to the list, because I hadn't had the car serviced since I took delivery in December 2018. Note that I didn't use the mobile app to schedule the appointment, but once they scheduled it, it appeared in the app.

On Monday morning, before I dropped the car off, my service advisor called to let me know they wouldn't have any Tesla loaners available, but they would get a loaner from Enterprise. She asked me if I wanted to reschedule for another time when they would have a Tesla to give me, but I said the Enterprise loaner would be fine. She also told me it would probably take a few days to complete the upgrade, because there were only certain people there who could do that, and there were other cars ahead of me in the HW3 upgrade queue.

I dropped the car off Monday afternoon. This was the first time I had been back to the service center since December 2018, and there was a lot more going on the in the service area than on my last visit. There was a long line of cars in the service lane, and when I pulled into the line, my car was actually blocking the entrance to the front parking lot, but there was nowhere else to go. I waited until I was able to move up and out of the way, then I got out and asked if I was supposed to wait in the car or go inside to check in, and they told me to go inside. I had to wait a little while for my service advisor to free up, but she checked me in quickly. After that I had to wait a while for the Enterprise loaner to be dropped off, but I ended up with a new Mustang convertible, so I didn't mind. While I was waiting, I asked my advisor about the Uber credits, and she told me they do offer those to people who don't want to deal with a loaner.

Once I left the service center, I wasn't able to access the car using the mobile app, as expected. TeslaFi was still able to access the car, however. While they had the car, I received several notifications about software updates (update available, update failed, update complete) and supercharging notifications. They did upgrade the software from 2020.4 to 2020.4.1. I received a notification last night (Wednesday) at 11:45pm saying the service was complete and the car could be picked up during business hours. The WPB service center has a night crew, so they work 24/7 (not sure about weekends). My service advisor texted me this morning to let me know the car was ready, and I told her I'd pick it up this afternoon.

When I arrived to pick up the car, I didn't have to wait to check out, and the car was already parked out front and ready to go. The only thing I had to pay for was replacement of the wiper blade inserts (which I requested). When I got in the car, I checked all the settings, and everything was as I left it (except for the new FSD Visualization Preview setting, which I didn't have before, so I enabled it). I also checked the new Additional Vehicle Details link on the Controls > Software screen (that was added in 2020.4), and it showed the AP computer as "Full self driving computer." I inserted my music and TeslaCam USBs (which I removed when dropping off the car), rebooted for good measure, and off I went.

On the ride home, I noticed lots of new visualizations: traffic lights, trash cans, a traffic cone that was off to the side of the road, a fire hydrant (it might have looked like a traffic cone to the car). One that I wasn't expecting: the car showed turn arrows and HOV diamond markers painted on the roadway, which was cool. While I was at one stop light, I noticed that the display of a left turn arrow on the road behind me danced around a bit, as did the car to my right, but nothing like the dancing cars of earlier builds.

On the highway part of the drive home, I used Autosteer (not NOA), and for a couple of lane changes into/out of the HOV lane, the car alerted me to take over immediately and disabled Autosteer/TACC (I was able to enable it again after the lane change). The car has always had occasional issues crossing the double lane markers that separate HOV lanes, but this seemed more drastic than before. I don't know if it was due to the hardware upgrade, the software upgrade, or something else -- I'll have to see what happens on future drives. Other than that, I didn't notice any difference between how Autosteer worked before and after the upgrade.

All in all, I'm happy with the upgrade experience, and I hope it goes just as well when our Model 3 is due for its upgrade.

NKYTA | 13 February, 2020

@EVR, ta.

“After that I had to wait a while for the Enterprise loaner to be dropped off, but I ended up with a new Mustang convertible, so I didn't mind. While I was waiting, I asked my advisor about the Uber credits, and she told me they do offer those to people who don't want to deal with a loaner.”

Interesting, thanks for the share.

PatientFool | 13 February, 2020

Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to getting mine sometime soon.

RonRichardson1440 | 13 February, 2020

Does anyone know how Tesla decides who gets upgrades to HW3 hardware? I’ve been waiting since I purchased my new model S in December 2016!

akikiki | 14 February, 2020

If anyone even had a wild a$$ guess it would have been posted long ago and talked about and talked about.

reed_lewis | 14 February, 2020

@RonRichardson1440 - I would not hold your breath waiting for your upgrade. You like me have HW2.0 with MCU 1.0 which will require new cameras (at least the three front facing cameras), and a way for the HW3.0 FSD computer to work with MCU1.0 (or an upgrade to MCU2.0 if needed.

Tesla has not released how this upgrade will be done yet. I have asked Corporate and was referred to the local service center. The local service center has basically told me that corporate has not told them how the cars of this system will be done yet.

bp | 14 February, 2020

This week I had requested the HW3 upgrade for our 2017 S (MCU1/AP2) during our scheduled service appointment.

Their response - Tesla will NOT notify owners when their vehicles are eligible for the upgrade. Our vehicle's VIN was not on the upgrade list. The only way to know if your vehicle is ready for the upgrade is to schedule a service appointment. And even if you don't request the upgrade, if your vehicle's VIN is on the list, you'll get the upgrade, without any notification.

For those of us who purchased FSD on the MCU1/AP2 vehicles and accepted the risk of purchasing FSD without any details on if/when we'd ever see anything for our purchase, Tesla should at least provide us some information on what they will likely do and when... | 14 February, 2020

@reed_lewis - Tesla is already updating MCU1 HW2.5 cars, so MCU1 does not appear to be an issue or needs a replacement for HW3 AP processor retrofit. There were about 8 months of production with MCU1 and HW2.5. My guess is 7 cameras will need a replacement for HW2.0 cars.

EVRider | 14 February, 2020

@bp: I think each service center handles this in their own way. My service advisor in WPB told me that they're getting inundated with queries and appointment requests for people anxious to upgrade to HW3, and they wish people would just wait for the notification. Tesla doesn't notify owners, that's up to each service center to handle as they see fit.

EVRider | 14 February, 2020

@TeslaTap: Are you sure that anyone with MCU1 has gotten the HW3 upgrade? I thought that wasn't happening yet.

reed_lewis | 14 February, 2020

It is either 3 or 7. The front three cameras will definitely need to be replaced. The question is how much does the side cameras need color. I would guess that short term, none. But long term color will be used as part of the object recognition algorithm so it probably will need to be full color all around. So you are probably right in that all 7 cameras will need to be replaced. | 14 February, 2020

@EVRider - Several people have reported to getting HW3 with MCU1 & HW2.5. There appears to be two different minor versions of MCU1, but I think the earlier MCU1 version is pre HW2.0. There are some significant differences in the AP2.0 vs. AP2.5 wiring and connectors. It's possible Tesla needs to make a special AP3.0 processor just for those with AP2.0, but I've assumed it could be done with a retrofit cabling/connectors and the standard AP3 hardware.

reed_lewis | 14 February, 2020

@teslatap - and cameras of course. But as has been said, the silence is deafening...

Techy James | 14 February, 2020

@RonRichardson1440 Does your Model S have AP 1 or AP 2.0 Hardware? Also did you purchase FSD upgrade or did your care come with AutoPilot convenience features? If the later then you likely have AP1.0 hardware which is not eligible for AP3.0 hardware upgrade.
If you have the AP 2.0 Hardware with FSD upgrade purchased then once they complete the process to retrofit those with AP 2.0 Hardware you should be getting your update. Appears there was more to work out last I heard on the AP 2.0 hardware, which required more than just simple MCU swap out like is required with the AP 2.5 Hardware. Maybe an email to the Service could get you a closer update to the timeline. | 14 February, 2020

@Techy James - I think you likely know, but there is no MCU swap out, only the AP processor on HW2.5 cars is replaced. It is unknown if MCU1 will be swapped out, but it seems unlikely since others with MCU1 and HW2.5 are not having MCU replaced.

bill | 14 February, 2020

It just seems so wrong that they are making the ones who bought first wait the longest and not communicate with us at all. They really should have put more effort into resolving the incompatibilities before they started retrofitting cars. It seems like more and more Tesla is turning into a car company like the others. Take your money and then forget about you.

EVRider | 15 February, 2020

@bill: So you’re saying that Tesla should make owners of newer models wait for upgrades until they’ve figured out how to upgrade older cars? I think most owners would disagree with you.

PatientFool | 15 February, 2020

I don't mind waiting. I knew what i was signing up for when I bought FSD for my AP2/MCU1 car. It'd be nice if Elon would tweet something about when we'll see HW3 but ultimately I don't really care much. There are more important things in life to think about then whether my car can visualize traffic cones.

bill | 15 February, 2020

@EVRider I would expect newer owners to disagree because it is not to their benefit.

But I am not saying they should delay newer owners just because they are newer. What I am saying is they should have put a higher priority on upgrading then leaving it until after they finished making it work on the latest hardware. But I am sure what they did was put it on the newest version first because that is what they are selling and are making it work on the older cars with a lot less effort.. I say this because we have already been waiting significantly longer then anyone else with newer hardware. And Tesla is not saying a dammed thing about it. For all we know they may be waiting as long as possible so they can decide they will not upgrade the older cars and deal with the lawsuit that follows because the longer they wait the smaller the class will be.

And in the absence of Tesla telling us what their plan is to upgrade us we can imagine anything about what they are planning.

bill | 15 February, 2020

@PatientFool "I don't mind waiting"

And that is why you are a Patient Fool! :)

akikiki | 15 February, 2020

bill, there was a tweet from Elon months ago that they were working on an upgrade path from MCU1 to MCU2. Then it went quiet. I like to think they are still working on it for MCU1 owners and that's why they are not doing MCU1 HW3.

There's that old saying, you want it bad, you will get it bad. So, let's just let them do their thing and hope for the best.

AxTrader | 16 February, 2020

From a timing standpoint, Service Centers are in a better position now to handle the workload of the HW3 upgrade. Model 3/S/X is mature and stabilized while the introduction of the Model Y is around the corner and when it is released will undoubtedly increase the strain at the Service Centers. If the HW3 upgrade doesn't happen soon for MCU1 cars, Service Centers will get overrun by Model Y early adopter problems this summer.

EVRider | 16 February, 2020

@bill: You’re assuming that Tesla isn’t working on a solution to upgrade HW2 cars while they upgrade HW2.5 cars, but you don’t know that, and neither do any of us. If your conspiracy theory about a future lawsuit makes you feel better about not getting the upgrade, good for you.

bill | 16 February, 2020

If I don't know because Tesla is not keeping us updated that I have to make assumptions about what is going on.

akikiki | 16 February, 2020

bill, this is just another situation that they are not keeping us updated on. No reason for this one to be different or not believe what we are trying to hold on to with hope.