It appears that Tesla is starting to use more of the capabilities of its custom-made Hardware 3 computer, which has been designed from the ground up to attain full self-driving. As indicated by the findings of the Tesla community’s resident hacker, @greentheonly, the latest update rolled out by the electric car maker activated HW3’s dual redundancy system.
The owner-hacker noted that alongside new features such as FSD preview visuals and Camp Mode in update 18.104.22.168, HW3’s redundancy systems are now live. “Hm, looking at hw3 image more closely, we can see that redundancy stuff is now apparently live in 22.214.171.124, or at least the B node starts the full copy of the autopilot software instead of getting stuck in the ‘do nothing’ loop,” @greentheonly wrote.
Tesla’s custom-designed Full Self-Driving computer is actually two separate computers, each one equipped with its own processors, memory, and storage. Each of these separate computers also run an operating system that is identical, yet separate, from its counterpart. This design makes the system extra safe, since if one computer crashes, the other could simply take over. That being said, before the most recent update, Tesla has only been running one of HW3’s two computers.
This meant that if the Autopilot software failed or crashed, drivers would be required to take over control of the vehicle. With dual redundancy in the picture, the FSD computer could, at least theoretically, failover to the other computer if one crashes. By doing so, Autopilot would likely not disengage, even if one of the FSD unit’s computers needs to reboot. It should be noted that these are but theories for now, as Tesla has not provided the full specifics of the FSD unit’s redundancy systems yet.
In a way, the activation of Hardware 3’s dual redundancy systems is another small step towards full autonomy for Tesla. It is also a pertinent feature that must be fully refined before Tesla can start the rollout of its Robotaxi fleet, which operates completely without human interaction. For vehicles to successfully drive themselves, their autonomous systems must always be operational. That ensures their safety and consistency, factors that will likely give the Tesla Network an advantage over rivals such as Uber and Lyft.
Elon Musk has previously predicted that a “feature complete” version of FSD will be rolled out to an initial batch of early access users by the end of the year. So far, no reports from the Tesla community have been shared about such an update. Nevertheless, updates such as the FSD preview visuals for inner city driving and these discoveries from the owner-hacker community imply that perhaps autonomous driving is indeed just around the corner, or at least coming sooner rather than later.
H/T Omar Qazi via WholeMars.net