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Does anyone know Tesla's plan to upgrade our cars to 5G?

Does anyone know Tesla's plan to upgrade our cars to 5G?

I would assume new hardware would be needed, but I may be wrong.

If new hardware needed, anyone know the cost? Is is part of HW3 upgrade for those who purchased FSD?

kaffine | June 21, 2019

My guess is they wont upgrade them to 5g. 4g will do what they need why upgrade them?

Atoms | June 21, 2019

There is not much of a point to upgrade to 5G. 5G will be relatively short range and very high bandwidth. AT&T has upgraded LTE to higher bandwidth. You can always tether to your phone if you want to through WiFi. You are also asking for something which won’t exist for years.

terminator9 | June 21, 2019

What I want to know is what is Tesla's plan to upgrade our cars to 6G?

lbowroom | June 21, 2019

Agreed, what would be the purpose?

Firaz.ashraf | June 21, 2019

What about upgrade plans to Starlink "G"?

kevin_rf | June 22, 2019

Elon has already said the starlink antenna is to large to nicely fit on a Model 3.

gmr6415 | June 22, 2019

@kevin_rf, but technology always seems to find a way to make a smaller device that will do the same job. Look at the difference in automotive radio antennas from the past as compared to now.

joe.lynn.atp | June 22, 2019

What are Tesla’s plans to upgrade us to solid state batteries!

rdavis | June 22, 2019

My guess is 5G has a place in Tesla in the future when it is available, but I doubt there would be any “retro” fit option.

RichardKJ | June 22, 2019

Back when Tesla switched from 3G to 4G for the cellular connection they did offer a retrofit for around $500. The price seemed to vary among service centers depending on labor charges.

RES IPSA | June 22, 2019

My understanding is that level 5 autonomous vehicles will require near "real time" abilities to communicate with one another. That is why I asked...

RES IPSA | June 22, 2019

@richard.... thanks for the info regarding what Tesla has done in the past in a similar situation. I am hoping that since I purchased FSD, such an upgrade to 5G would be included in FSD

rmg007 | June 22, 2019

When will my M3 get an antenna for AM radio? lol

lbowroom | June 22, 2019

Its bundled with the 5G

kaffine | June 22, 2019

From what I have seen of Tesla plans for FSD it doesn't include V2V or V2I communications so no need for 5G.

If FSD requires real time communications with other cars then FSD wont happen anytime soon. If it requires communications with other cars that means all other cars will need to be able to communicate and that isn't going to happen for a long time. First they have to develop the standard and start including it with cars. Then it will have to get to the point that all cars on the road have it or for roads that allow FSD to not allow cars that don't have V2V communication systems.

To take full advantage of FSD it will require V2V and V2I communications but that is a long ways away when all cars are FSD not just a few. At that point they can get rid of traffic lights and really increase speeds on highways and reduce following distances to reduce wind resistance.

rxlawdude | June 22, 2019

And until then, we should be happy with Level 4 autonomy at best.

RES IPSA | June 22, 2019

I believe that the regulations (US DOT) currently require the level of connectivity that only 5G can provide. The regulations can always change of course

Tronguy | June 22, 2019

@RES IPSA: I'm an actual EE. Admittedly, I play more with photons in fiber than stuff that travels in air, but still.
Everything I've read about 5G says that it's stationed right in the absorption band for water in air.
So, take a step back. There are frequencies of light for which the media in which light travels is transparent. A vacuum is the gold standard: Pretty much everything travels sans losses in a vacuum.
Interestingly, brick walls do a reasonably good job of stopping the frequencies of light we call "visible". However, even through there's attenuation, certain radio frequencies can penetrate brick walls: That's why one's cell phone at the bands the cell phone companies use, especially the lower frequencies, work reasonably well.
There's not an infinite number of frequencies available for use. And there are some frequencies that those who want long-range transmission avoid like the plague. As it happens, there are adsorption peaks associated with water vapor. "Looking" through the air, at those wavelengths, is pretty much like looking through a fog. Nobody else wanted those frequencies, but the U.S. Gummint could sell them, and the engineers at the cell phone companies figured so long as things were short range, well, why not?
What stops transmission at those frequencies? a) Brick walls. You won't get 5G inside of a building, unless we're talking glass, and even glass attenuates this stuff, lots. b) Air. Half a mile or so and you're done. c) Safety. Um. If water vapor is adsorbing signals, then that means the water is getting warm. A La Microwave Oven. Too much signal strength and Bad Things happen to living beings which are large sacks of dirty water.
So, what does 5G get one? Lots of bandwidth, short range, urban landscape (where it can make monetary sense to put in a zillion access points), and not in buildings.
The frequency bands in the U.S. are one thing: Those elsewhere, in the EU etc., may be another. At this point: a 5G phone is near useless, expensive, and mainly marketing hype.
In a Tesla? Give me a break; there's no point.

TeslaTap.com | June 22, 2019

@RES IPSA - There are zero regulations of requiring 5G, 4G or even 3G in vehicles.

There are some standards and spectrum reserved for V2V and V2I. 5G is a very poor choice for V2V, and no one in the industry is honestly considering it.

V2V would be great to improve FSD, just not all that practical. Even if every new car was required to have V2V, it would be about 20-25 years before half the cars on the road have V2V. If FSD can't be resolved without V2V, it's going to be at least 40 years until all the non-V2V cars are gone or regulated off the roads.

priit | June 22, 2019

But Tesla FSD uses real time V2V communication. Though it is one way and visual communication, mostly similar to what a driver uses in a car by observing what other cars are doing. Human driver sometimes takes this to 2 way communication through waiving thanks or giving someone the finger when they feel they were cut off. I suspect that aspect has been omitted from the FSD stack to simplify matters as giving someone the finger may cause unwanted reactions from the recipient.

bj | June 22, 2019

4G is plenty good enough for the comms Tesla needs to do with the car.

ITS (intelligent transportation systems) / V2X have nothing to do with 5G and in fact are designed to work without an umbrella cellular network, because it would not be robust if it did need one. It also operates in its own non-cellular frequency band (5.9 GHz).

guydude | June 22, 2019

Tesla's desperately need 5G. My guess is 2021

hammy16 | June 22, 2019

agree with Tronguy wordy but generally correct. 5G mainly hype and very short range. Will not build out past cities very well. Within cities probably fine and very fast but huge access point buildout required. Tesla does not need (or want) to consume a lot of bandwidth

Frank99 | June 22, 2019

I agree with Tronguy (I'm also an engineer, but not a cellular engineer). 5G is pure marketing hype - yes, you can get outrageous speeds, but:
1. There aren't any applications that need 20 gb/s data rates on a phone (or in an autonomous vehicle)
2. You're only going to get high speed if you're close enough to an access point that you could throw a baseball and hit it.
3. 5G isn't likely to work well in a moving vehicle, and is going to be very challenged working well with a moving person.

There are some good uses for 5G:
1. It can support a lot more devices in a small area than 4G (1 million / square kilometer for 5G, vs 100,000 / sq kilometer for 4G according to wikipedia). This would come in as a great advantage in something like a sports stadium where all 100,000 customers are trying to stream youtube because the game is boring...
2. It can be sold as a replacement for wired internet access in dense urban areas. Comcast may have a monopoly on high-speed wired internet, but 5G gives the cellular companies the ability to offer gigabit speeds to apartment dwellers and businesses for cheap.

But, there's absolutely no need to put it in a Tesla. Tesla may move to 5G if there's a business case to be made - perhaps 5G data charges end up being cheaper than 4G data charges. But I wouldn't expect such a transition to occur any time in the near future.

SalisburySam | June 23, 2019

Whether or not 5G is a good idea or will ever be implemented, getting back to the OP’s original questions:

1- new hardware would be necessary including receiver/transmitter, wiring, antenna, etc.
2- 5G is not part of HW3, nor the possible upgrade from HW2.5 for FSD buyers.
3- cost is to be determined. Should 5G ever be available (see @Tronguy’s discussion above), retrofits for older vehicle may or may not be offered. I’m guessing that if 4G and LTE co-exist with 5G, then a 5G retrofit will likely not be offered as an unnecessary expense to Tesla. Should ONLY 5G exist, then you might expect an upgrade option. If offered, it would likely be a part-Tesla-paid-part-owner-paid cost sharing. I say that based on my previous experiences with such an upgrade:

I had a 2001 GMC Envoy that came with analog communications for GM’s OnStar service. During my ownership, things went digital, analog was no longer supported, and I was offered a digital upgrade for $199, necessary to continue the service.

I have a 2012 Nissan LEAF that when new had 2G wireless for its CARWINGS telematics service. When AT&T killed 2G, I was offered a 3G upgrade for...wait for it...$199 to continue the service.

In both cases, the communications hardware was replaced with new.