Many headlines come from tweets these days, especially when it comes from Elon Musk. The CEO of Tesla tweeted again today confirming that folks should expect hardware updates on Tesla vehicles nearly as often as a smartphone, on average.
In replying to someone on Twitter today, Musk informed the fellow tweeter that Tesla will update the hardware in their vehicles every 12 to 18 months. Such a short interval between updates is unorthodox for the automotive industry, where product life-cycles often reach four to five years before substantial hardware updates.
@dtweiseth Tesla will never stop innovating. People are buying the wrong car if they expect this. There will be major revs every 12 to 18 months.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 22, 2017
Hardware updates are becoming a talking point because there are now feature differences associated with HW1 and HW2 versions of the Tesla Model S and Model X due to new Autopilot updates. The updates enable more autonomous assist features on the newer HW2 hardware.
Musk also confirmed that Tesla is not interested in retrofitting older products with newer hardware, using the logic that the time and costs associated with retrofitting would slow Tesla’s pace of innovation on new products. While probably true, that’s likely a tough pill for Tesla owners to swallow given their cars aren’t exactly cheap.
It will also be fascinating to watch Tesla residual values going forward if the company is really planning new hardware as often as most consumer electronics.