In a Model 3 thread about HW3 and visualizations (https://forums.tesla.com/forum/forums/visualizations-and-hw3), it was reported that after Tesla announced that they had started using HW3 in all vehicles, some vehicles were still being built with HW2.5. This was news to me, and there seems to be enough evidence to support that claim, so I thought it deserved a new thread here in the General forum.
This issue became apparent when Tesla introduced new HW3-specific visualization features, starting with traffic cones, and more recently traffic lights and stop lights. Some people who thought they had HW3 weren't seeing these features, because it turned out they didn't actually have HW3.
Those people affected by this who also purchased FSD will get HW3 anyway, so it's not a huge deal for them. In my opinion, the people who thought they were buying cars with HW3 and got HW2.5 instead should get free upgrades even if they didn't pay for FSD. The new HW3 visualizations benefit even those people without FSD, and it's likely that basic AP gets some benefit from the faster processor.
I'm surprised that this hasn't been publicized more, but I'm guessing not that many people know about it yet.
If you think you have HW3, and you're not seeing the new visualizations in 40.50.x, make sure you've enabled FSD Visualization Preview under Controls > Autopilot before jumping to the conclusion that you don't have HW3. If you don't see that option with 40.50.x, then you probably don't have HW3.