With Tesla having a variety of different hardware versions including for AP, EAP, FSD, Version 9, Version 10, MCU1 and MCU2 and now even which generation of electric motor in the car impacting the features available, the permutations are getting quite big. We try to set out the various permutations and what impacts what.
If you are interested in more technical details of the differences, read about the Technical differences between Tesla hardware versions
Tesla have run two broad versions of autopilot hardware, the original Mobileye version, sometimes known as AP1, and the subsequent Tesla version which was originally called Enhanced Autopilot (EAP), and latterly reduced to just Autopilot (AP) and Full Self Driving (FSD).
AP1 is either on or off, EAP and AP depend on the age of the car and each can be upgraded to FSD. As EAP has some of the FSD components already that AP does not have it is a cheaper upgrade that from AP, although EAP was a cost option in itself whereas AP is standard fit.
To add a little extra confusion, Tesla have also had 3 versions of their hardware (EAP, AP and FSD cars), the original HW2, later revised to HW2.5 which included some additional redundancy to the wiring, and the latest version HW3. Not only that, the Model 3 also includes an interior camera although for now, this makes no difference to the operation.
Tesla have promised to upgrade owners with older versions of the AP hardware (vrom version 2 onwards) to that needed to run the full self driving software if the option was purchased. There is some emerging evidence that even the EAP features are now struggling to perform on the early hardware, and Tesla have removed the option to upgrade some early cars to FSD (and as a result get the hardware upgrade from MyTesla. Considering these cars are now up to 3 years old, its unlikely Tesla want to revisit these older cars unless the owners have already purchased the FSD capability such is the increasing cost of the upgrade.>
While Tesla have been keen to suggest that all cars built since their version of Autopilot came out in late 2016 would support autopilot and they would offer free upgrades to anyone should they need it, Tesla have started to release features that do not work on all hardware versions, much to the annoyance of some owners although its primarily HW2 owners who are missing out, a double blow for those that bought their car new as they had to wait for nearly a year for any Autopilot features to be delivered.
While Tesla have called HW3 the 'FSD hardware', and it is said to have twice the computing power of HW2.5, the autopilot features are the same across all versions. What we suspect is happening is the software at times runs out of processing capacity and a situation may not be handled as well under the earlier versions compared to HW3. Tesla are said to still be optimising the code for HW2.5 and we can expect a jump in performance if not features when this happens. The problem Tesla have is maintaining backward comparability as even HW2 were sold as having everything needed for Full Self Driving. While upgrades are starting to take place for some cars who have the FSD option, we suspect the real challenge will be in the performance of regular Autopilot features as they already seem to be struggling. This seems to be illustrated with HW3 cars being able to see and report cones and not the earlier versions. Tesla have maintained that cars with FSD would get an upgrade when the feature dictated, but we suspect Tesla will claim this is not a feature as such, more a case of better performance of an existing features. Semantics? Tesla!
The original electric motors in the MS and MX were called IR and then Infinion but the both of these were fundamentally different to the permanent magnet motor (PMSRM) in the Model 3. There are pro's and con's of both but Tesla decided to move the MS and MX over to the new PMSRM motor in 2019 as part of the 'Raven' update. Its believed the rear motor in the performance MS and MX is still of the older type with just the front motor changing to the PMSRM motor, with the non performance versions having both motors changed over. As a result of the different technology, some new features are only available on these later cars.
Tesla have had a number of MCUs over the years. With the exception of very early screens, there is MCU1 used up until about March 2018 and MCU2 which has been in production since then on the MS and MX. The MCU is totally separate to the autopilot hardware and the performance of one is not dependant on the other. The table below refers to European cars once they have V10 installed, although the results are correct in most countries. While not strictly accurate, MCU2 and the M3 screen system have the same features.