Under 4 hour HW3 retrofit, better driving experience, some surprising visualizations and other improvements

Under 4 hour HW3 retrofit, better driving experience, some surprising visualizations and other improvements

2018 June build LR RWD, VIN 26,XXX
The appointment for today (3/19/2020) requested through the app along with two other minor services.
SC took 4 1/2 hours for all service items, so something less than 4 hours for HW3 retrofit.

Driving experience:
As soon as I started pulling away from the SC, I immediately noticed a difference. There was a “certainty“ to the feel, it felt weighty or maybe “assured” is a better description. But definitely felt a handling difference just driving it. Also, AP and NoAP activated right away on the road as I pulled away (no calibration period that I performed, and didn’t notice a significant change in the odometer on pickup. Calibration done without driving? Seems so.) AP/NoAP more centered and confident in lane changes and curves. Smack dab centered.

Profiles, Mostly transferred, a couple didn’t:
So virtually all profiles, settings transferred over, including odometer cards, Tune In and FM radio stations, and all Slacker favorites. This was a relief because I walked out forgetting to ask them about this. Nice to see that they took care of this and thAt it worked. Only thing to redo was home WiFi, phone as key/Bluetooth, and a couple settings (turn on fsd visualization, redo 2 of 4 Nav on AP toggles...that was random.) All other toggles remained throughout all menus and sub menus.

Some unique things I didn’t expect in the new Visualization:
1. When you drive underneath traffic lights the movement is rendered perfectly in the visualization, passing over your avatar car. Slick.

2. Effectively at night, flashing turn signals appear and disappear on the screen. I guess cameras at night see the light brightness over the physical light housing. The new “dancing cars”?
; )

3. When I drive by construction barrels, at highway speed they render as smaller cones, barrels at slower speed. Update: the construction barrels show as cones at any speed. What did I originally see at slow speed? I believe it was an object by the barrel that rendered as a garbage can, thought it was the barrel. As others have noted, cones and cans subbing for many roadside objects.

4. Physical position, angles, and number of traffic lights, stop signs, cones and garbage cans render exactly in space on screen.
Example: One intersection had 4 traffic signals, and three cones on a median-all tendered with accurate count. The left traffic light was lower than the next two, and the fourth one was on a pole slightly ahead of the others. All rendered spatially accurate. When left one went turn signal green with others red, colors changed on screen in real time. Again, slick.

Retrofit Prep/Checklist:
I used this helpful link:

Real happy to get the retrofit done and out of the way. Now ready for Nav on AP on city streets. That will be something!

Atoms | 19 March, 2020

Sounds like something to look forwards to. Would really like auto stop at stoplight.

M3phan | 20 March, 2020

Me too. That’s coming when they release Nav on AP for city streets.

sbeggs | 20 March, 2020

Excellent! Thanks for your detailed description.

M3phan | 20 March, 2020

@ sbeggs, you bet. Do you have it? Waiting for it?

sbeggs | 20 March, 2020

No, have 2014 Model S85 without autopilot.

Just recognizing how valuable your report is for those waiting for the upgrade.

Mike83 | 20 March, 2020

Awesome news. Thanks for info.

Mike83 | 20 March, 2020

We have a MS and M3 with FSD waiting patiently. Don't mind the wait as the cars are amazing already but it is something to look forward to.

TexasBob | 20 March, 2020

They are getting really good at the upgrades. Our second Model 3 this morning took 2 hours and 10 minutes!

M3phan | 20 March, 2020

@ sbeggs, gotcha, you’ll love it!
@ Mike83, that’s true, these cars are amazing, and they get better over time… Something my non-tesla owner friends marvel at, & something we get to enjoy month to month!
@ TexasBob, agree, they are doing really well with these retrofits, including saving profiles and data, really impressed 2 hours wow that’s the quickest turnaround I’ve seen posted anywhere yet! Excellent!

lordmiller | 20 March, 2020

I had my HW3 done a couple of weeks ago. My LTE now does not stay connected. They did a power down on the car to try and fix it but did not work. Has anyone heard of this issue happening to anyone else. They're going to keep it for a few days next week to try and fix. Just wondering if anybody else has experienced this. Thanks!

M3phan | 20 March, 2020

Reboot, and sometimes let things sit for a day:
Forgot to mention that before I pulled out of the SC I also performed the two button soft reboot, and all was well. Might be helpful to know that some have mentioned a soft reboot didn’t seem to fix some wonky toggles in some of the sub menus, but after a period of time, the car seem to settle into proper settings for some reason. That wasn’t my experience, I just mention it because it has been for others.

Game updates:
When I connected to my home Wi-Fi, I noticed that under the software menu, there was a green line moving to indicate games downloading updates. I haven’t checked any of the games yet to see what has improved.

Can new computer improve handling, “road feel”?
Took the car out last night for a final drive before bedding down, and to my original post, the car felt really good on the road. I asked one of my buddies who is a 40+ year exec/engineer for a major international software company if changing the computer hardware in the car could affect something like that and he replied “Yes, maybe that’s true. It can ascertain what’s going on and react well. Wouldn’t surprise me. That’s likely an AI capability. The faster processing may point to that.” Sounds good to me!

M3phan | 20 March, 2020

@ lordmiller, when I pulled into my garage, before I reconnected/reset up my Wi-Fi connection to the car, I noticed the LTE signal was suddenly crossed and grayed out. However after I connected to home Wi-Fi, then drove away later that evening out of Wi-Fi range, the LTE signal came back on full bars.

lordmiller | 20 March, 2020

Bummer, mine is grayed out most of the time now. Oh well they will sort it out next week, if they're open!

M3phan | 20 March, 2020

They’ve done a good job in SCs of maintaining social distancing and wearing a fresh pair of disposable gloves with every interaction with every customer, so it looks like they’re trying to stay open.

Mike83 | 20 March, 2020

Sounds excellent. I read that Tesla will OTA connect new owners with their cars with all stuff inside the car putting the cars at their home. Talk about safety, people will get their cars.

PhillyBob | 20 March, 2020

My experience yesterday at the Devon PA SC was exactly the same as M3phan's. They provided me with a (older) Model S for the day. The service was excellent. I loved the fact that you can track the service on the app. Great job Tesla.

I had a 200 mile road trip today and the FSD worked great. I actually liked the option to ask for lane changing. That may have not changed (as I had the other option previously selected) but I liked the reminder to change lanes but it not doing it on its own. Using the turn signals worked great and I never needed to nudge the steering wheel for the change.

Still grinning .... bigger than ever ....

M3phan | 20 March, 2020

@ PhillyBob, agree on tracking service via app. That’s a nice feature. Included estimated completion time that updates. Helps with planning your day.

jfaubl | 21 March, 2020

I haven't noticed any difference in driving.

Mike83 | 21 March, 2020

flagging BS posts keeps the thread uninterrupted.

Back to topic. I am hoping Tesla can do both our cars MS and M3 at one time. I also like the App upgrade for specifics like body work, software, and other stuff. This channels to the correct service center for fast response or mobile service.
Very cool and fast compared to having to talk to a rep

bruryan | 21 March, 2020

that is what I am feeling too. Nothing has changed in actual driving. There is the carnival picture show that means absolutely nothing.

M3phan | 21 March, 2020

@ Mike83, great point.

Amended my op, the construction barrels show as cones at any speed. I had mentioned at slower speeds they show as barrels. Nope. Not today. What did I originally see at slow speed? I believe it was an object by the barrel that rendered as a garbage can, thought it was the barrel. As others have noted, cones and cans subbing for many roadside objects.

ppalumbo1347 | 21 March, 2020

Since I did the upgrade I am encountering frequent, unexplainable chimes. Very annoying. Anybody else?

M3phan | 21 March, 2020

When do they occur

Bighorn | 21 March, 2020

Turn off speed chime

howard | 21 March, 2020

No driving differences either. Took several hour of driving to recalibrate. I see cones popping up but often they are not cones. That’s about it for any visualizations. TACC and AP are not any different than prior to HW3. Looking to the future.

noleaf4me | 21 March, 2020

Cool -- still waiting for my number to be called! Did you proactive schedule it or did they contact you?

howard | 21 March, 2020

I made an appointment from the app for a few minor issues and put in the notes to install HW3. That easy.

M3phan | 21 March, 2020

@ noleaf4me, I scheduled proactively thru app with a couple other service items.

M3phan | 21 March, 2020

@ howard, just cones? There are also traffic lights, many pavement/road markings, stop signs, garbage cans. A veritable screen party.

noleaf4me | 22 March, 2020

Thanks -- anyone else having issues with the trunk lid being difficult to close? I believe my gas spring lifts may be faulty -- anyone else having this issue?

M3phan | 22 March, 2020

No on trunk lifts here. Mobile tech can get that squared away.

noleaf4me | 22 March, 2020

I scheduled an appointment at the Tesla Service Center so hopefully I get the HW3 installed at the same time. My bet is they are not overly swamped at this time as I was able to get a quick appointment.

syclone | 22 March, 2020

I must admit that I'm very jealous of those doing the FSD upgrade to HW-3. I have an almost identical car to the OP's (LR-RWD-EAP 6/18 build serial 26XXX Del. 7/19/18). My jealously is more than overcome by the feeling that full FSD is still at least 2 years off (if States even approve it) EAP exhibits all of the features that FSD is currently capable of, less the new visualizations. So, for the near future, I'll still remain jealous.

M3phan | 22 March, 2020

@ syclone, our cars are indeed very close. My June build delivered 7/7/18. Have you scheduled for the retrofit thru your app? I’ll bet it goes thru no problem.
My hope is we see city street Nav on AP by summer this year. That’ll be a nice step up.

slevinn | 22 March, 2020

Just to temper your expectations - I have a late 2018 LR-AWD 55xxx that went in for the FSD/HW3 upgrade 2 weeks ago (3/10). After the HW upgrade was completed the car would not take a firmware update. After several days the car accepted the firmware but did not register the new version. After they thought they fixed that problem the backup camera stopped working. They have ordered a new wiring harness and hopefully will finish the work early next week (if they are still open) and the wiring harness is the root problem.

The service center gave me a loaner (even though it was supposed take less than 1 day to complete) and I have not been terribly inconvenienced. They have communicated very well each day and I feel that they are trying to diagnose and fix the problem and I expect them to eventually get it right.

My point is that while most of the upgrades have gone smoothly there are possible glitches and if I had to do it over again I would have waited a bit longer for them the get all the possible bugs out of the system. I hope they learn from my upgrade what went wrong to prevent it from happening to one of you.

The service center did indicate that they had a problem like this with one other car.

jefjes | 22 March, 2020

As far as the visualizations go, I'm most impressed by the many pavement/road markings. Turn lanes, crosswalks, bike lanes with the bike symbol that's painted in the lane shows, etc.

M3phan | 22 March, 2020

@ slevinn, bummer.

lph | 22 March, 2020

I have had HW3 for over a week now. Like @Howard, I do see cones, but that is it. No traffic lights, stop signs, garbage cans ... ever.
Wonder if it would have anything to do with the software version?
I am using 2020.12.4fbcc4b942a8

EVRider | 22 March, 2020

@lph: The visualizations are not available in every region, but you have to enable the Autopilot > FSD Visualization Preview option to see them.

howard | 22 March, 2020

M3phan | March 21, 2020
@ howard, just cones? There are also traffic lights, many pavement/road markings, stop signs, garbage cans. A veritable screen party.

I realized I must not have something turned on. When I went to the office this morning i turned on the FSD preview since the roads are about empty. It was interesting to watch at first and then I turned it back off. I would just assume the orange cones did not show up at this point. The flash of color is distracting to me. Not sure what good it is other than for entertainment if I had kids in the back seat maybe, but those days are long gone.

Lonestar10_1999 | 22 March, 2020

@howard - fsd is not ready yet. As you drive around with NoAP enabled you are contributing to the plethora of data Tesla needs to make the artificial intelligence better. Only you can decide if you purchase of fsd was a wise choice.

howard | 22 March, 2020

Lonestar10_1999, I bought FSD when it went on sale last year for 2k not for FSD but to keep the car current with the HW3 upgrade. I can never imagine actually using FSD.

Mike83 | 23 March, 2020

Although we don't have the update yet we do see bicycles, people, even a deer once. Seeing cones and lights would be great. I guess the fps must be very high on the new AI chip.

M3phan | 23 March, 2020

From Tesla autonomy day conference last year:
HW2.5 Nvidia computer chip = 1 trillion operations
per second.
HW3 Tesla FSD chip built ground up to work specifically with the neural net = 144 trillion operations per second.

And here’s the kicker, last year Elon said they have already started working on the second generation of this new FSD chip, comes out in ~ 2 years and it will be 3x better than this new fsd chip.

bruryan | 23 March, 2020

Would that be labled hw4? For next generation cars?

M3phan | 23 March, 2020

Hasn’t been said. Works for me though.

M3phan | 23 March, 2020

Actually, to be clear maybe it formally has somewhere, I haven’t heard or read. Still works for me. ; )

M3phan | 23 March, 2020

HW3 Improves Tesla cam:
In yet another tangible “right now” improvement for our HW3 cars, just learned that the image quality of Tesla cam has been improved, slightly for rear (rear camera was already quite good, noticeably clearer than other cans on the car), with more notable image improvements on the other cameras.

ADinM3 | 25 March, 2020

Got my HW3.0 upgrade Monday.
Took them about 2-3 hours tops. Everything appears to have transferred successfully and so far no issues (knock on wood). Calibration completed in less than 15 miles. Overall, a happy camper here...

M3phan | 25 March, 2020

Right on