Tesla’s Electronics are 6 Years Ahead of Toyota and VW Reveals Teardown

Tesla sales currently pale in comparison to those of auto giants like Toyota and Volkswagen. But what will the onslaught of a largely electric vehicle (EV) world do to traditional gas automakers like these?

After a recent teardown of a Tesla Model 3, the Nikkei Asia found that Tesla’s full self-driving computer, known as Hardware 3, was way ahead of any electronic technology currently being produced for cars – likely by about 6 years, according to one engineer from a Japanese automaker.

The engineer told onlookers, “We cannot do it.”

A major concern for traditional car manufacturers, some experts would go so far as to say that Tesla’s Hardware 3 could end the auto industry supply chain altogether.

The Tesla Hardware 3 module includes two custom AI chips, measuring about 260 square millimeters, along with an accompanying software which pairs with the hardware to power the cars’ driver-assistance, self-driving, and infotainment systems.

The heavy data load held by Tesla’s computer marks the significance of its power, ultimately cutting out the need for Electronic Control Units, a bread-and-butter product for auto suppliers. Without the technology, the auto supply chain could easily tank, and automakers seem to worry that they’ll go with it if it does.

So while companies like Toyota and Volkswagen still rely on this hardware, they’ll largely be responsible for making themselves obsolete in the next few decades through the use of auto parts suppliers.

Meanwhile, almost everything you’d find under the body of a Model 3 bears a Tesla logo – signifying a new age of original hardware in cars, as conventional gas cars begin to lose their footing in the market.

The situation seems similar to when Apple’s Steve Jobs unveiled the original iPhone in 2007, saying the smartphone was at least 5 years head of any mobile phone at the time. With Tesla’s Full Self-Driving hardware and AI technology, it’s clear the company is way ahead of its time.