Elon Musk confirms new Tesla MCU can be retrofitted, but new software will provide accelerated rendering

In a recent tweet, Elon Musk confirmed that Tesla Model S and Model X owners whose vehicles are equipped with older Media Control Units could be retrofitted with the company’s new x86_64-based MCU. Musk further stated that a software upgrade for NVIDIA Tegra-3-powered vehicles will be released, which would make a “big difference” in the performance of older media control units.

Musk’s recent Twitter update was a response to one of his followers on Twitter, who asked if Tesla’s new MCU could be retrofitted into Model S and X vehicles that were released last year. Musk issued a quick response to the Tesla enthusiast’s inquiry, stating that a hardware upgrade would definitely be an option for owners of the all-electric luxury sedan and SUV.

“Yes, you can upgrade hardware, although we also wrote software to accelerate rendering on old MCU. Coming out soon & makes a big diff.”

Elon Musk’s recent Twitter update bodes well for all Model S and Model X owners, especially since even those who opt out of the retrofit option are still set to see improvements in the vehicle’s touchscreen display.

The capability to retrofit Tesla’s new, improved media control unit to older vehicles will likely be a welcome option for Model S and Model X owners. The new MCU, after all, exhibits a noticeable speed and performance improvement over its predecessor. As we noted in a recent report, a controlled test of Tesla’s old and new MCU showed that the new media control unit is roughly twice as fast as the company’s NVIDIA Tegra-3-powered MCU.

The test, which was conducted by YouTube channel My Tesla Adventure, featured two Tesla vehicles that were connected to the same Wi-Fi network. During the test, the newer MCU was able to load destination information in 9.27 seconds compared to the older unit’s 20.73 seconds. Manual map navigation is greatly improved as well, with the new MCU being far more responsive than the older unit.

The electric cars’ built-in internet browser, one of the old MCU’s most notable flaws, was also greatly improved. In the controlled test, the new media control unit was able to load the Tesla webpage from in 12.10 seconds, while the old MCU had to take as much as 48.32 seconds to load the same page.

Tesla’s updates to the Model S and Model X’s media control unit was previously confirmed by a Tesla spokesperson earlier this month. According to the spokesperson, the updates to the Model S and X’s MCU are part of Tesla’s efforts to steadily improve its fleet through minor hardware and software upgrades. It should be noted, however, that Tesla’s MCU update is strictly for the electric cars’ media control unit; and thus, not related to the vehicle’s Autopilot capabilities.

Elon Musk confirms new Tesla MCU can be retrofitted, but new software will provide accelerated rendering
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