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Current Tesla Owners May Eventually Be Able To Make Their Cars Fully Autonomous

Illustration for article titled Current Tesla Owners May Eventually Be Able To Make Their Cars Fully Autonomous

A Tesla Model X owner just tore into his car, finding what appears to be a provision for a new triple front-facing camera. Here’s video of that tear-down, showing the vacant coax port that Electrek thinks might enable some current Teslas to be retrofit for fully-autonomous Autopilot 2.0.


Last week, we wrote about Tesla’s next generation Autopilot 2.0 system, which Electrek suspects will use a new suite of sensors to eventually enable level 4 fully autonomous driving (here’s a breakdown of various levels of autonomous driving).


Now the site has found this video by MEtv Product Reviews showing what appears to be a vacant coax input, indicating that perhaps this vehicle, a Tesla Model X, could later be updated with the hardware needed for Tesla’s Autopilot 2.0.

Electrek says the next gen “suite” of sensors will include a “triple front-facing camera” versus today’s single front-facing setup. The sites says upwards of 10,000 Model X owners and “Model S owners whose cars went into production starting last week” are likely going to have the opportunity to have their cars retrofitted for Auto Pilot 2.0 at some point in the future.

How hard will that retrofit job be? Well, there’s already the mirror cutout and part of the wiring harness needed for additional sensors. But the video above showing the trim near the rearview cutout actually seems to show the input for the new camera:

Photo: MEtv Product Reviews/YouTube
Photo: MEtv Product Reviews/YouTube

So it looks like Tesla is putting the hardware in place to allow these cars to be fitted with new sensors.

But Electrek does say there are will be some issues installing the entire suite of hardware for the next-gen Autopilot system. In particular, getting the radar antennas installed into the bumpers is going to be a pain in the butt, as removing and reinstalling the bumpers to fit properly would be a tough endeavor.


The site says there’s a chance Tesla could just install the new triple front-facing camera, and leave the new radar antennas out, a move that would still offer improvements to the Autopilot system, but not full Autopilot 2.0 capability.

So if you own a Model X or a brand new Model S, there’s still a chance that with some work, you could eventually build yourself a car good enough to do your driving for you.

Sr. Technical Editor, Jalopnik. Always interested in hearing from auto engineers—email me. Cars: Willys CJ-2A ('48), Jeep J10 ('85), Jeep Cherokee ('79, '91, '92, '00), Jeep Grand Cherokee 5spd ('94).

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In 2023, I am sure the third owner of a 2013 Model S will just have the guy that put 24"s on it for him install them.