In preparation for the FSD wide release, Tesla starts free camera upgrades for 2016 & 2017 Model S, 3, X



Tesla has accelerated the camera upgrade retrofit across its service centers in North America in preparation for the wide release of the Full Self-Diving (FSD) Beta towards the end of this year.

These camera upgrades are required for Tesla Model S, Model X, and Model 3 cars produced in the years 2016 and 2017. Although these cars are equipped with the 8 Autopilot camera setup (3 front, 2 side repeaters, 2 in B-pillars, and one at the back), these cameras have become a legacy due to technological advancements.

All Tesla Model Y electric SUVs are already equipped with the latest Autopilot cameras since the start of their production back in January 2020.

To bring these old Tesla vehicles on par with the latest Autopilot camera technology, the electric automaker has decided to upgrade them at no additional cost to the customers.

Tesla Model Y Accessories by EVANNEX (Sponsored Banner).
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This upgrade procedure has been in the works since last year but recently Tesla has again started emailing Tesla owners with older vehicles from 2016 & 2017 to schedule their free retrofit. Service appointments for the Tesla camera upgrades can be scheduled using the Tesla mobile app.

The email reads as:

As an owner with Full Self-Driving capability and early production cameras (VIN#), you are eligible for complimentary Autopilot Camera Upgrade. Camera replacements are required to access a continuously expanding suite of Full Self-Driving Capability features.

To arrange your complimentary camera replacements, schedule a new appointment from the Service menu in your Tesla App. Select Schedule Service > Upgrade & Accessories > Autopilot > Camera Upgrade.

However, this upgrade is only offered to Tesla owners who have purchased the Full Self-Driving software package.

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During the last couple of months, Tesla has been aggressively pushing out FSD Beta updates. At the end of Q3 2022, Tesla had already added around 160K Tesla owners to the FSD Beta testing program.

During the Tesla Q3 2022 Earnings Call, the company’s CEO Elon Musk said that Tesla vehicles have driven nearly 60 million miles in Full Self-Driving beta mode and this number continues to grow exponentially.

Graph of Tesla FSD Beta driven almost 60M miles.
Graph showing exponential of growth of miles driven by Tesla FSD Beta 60M miles till Sep 2022). Source: Data by Tesla, Inc (TSLA).

He also predicted that Tesla intends a wide release of FSD Beta in Q4 2022. “Anyone who has ordered FSD Beta with their Tesla or subscribed will have access to FSD Beta,” Musk said.

So, upgrading the Tesla vehicle cameras to the latest ones is necessary for the old cars to join the FSD Beta testers club as soon as the automaker rolls out a wide release.

Do you have an old Tesla Model S, 3, X and you got an email for a camera upgrade? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Iqtidar Ali
Iqtidar Ali
Iqtidar has been writing about Tesla, Elon Musk, and EVs for more than 3 years on, many of his articles have been republished on CleanTechnica and InsideEVs, maintains a healthy relationship with the Tesla community across the Social Media sphere. You can reach him on Twitter @IqtidarAlii


  1. Interesting.

    I thought that all model 3 were equipped with the same 1.2MP cameras and that Tesla is now advancing to 5MP Samsung-cameras.

    Does anyone know the specs of the said “outdated” cameras of 2016/2017?

  2. Anyone know if we’ll be able to use the NFC keycard on our 2016/2017 Model S now that it’s included inside the driver side B Pillar when they are doing these camera retrofits? I get mine done this Thursday and will ask the tech if he happens to know or not…

    • Please do let us know what the Tech guys at the Tesla Service Center say about the NFC card usage on the B-Pillar after the upgrade. They will have to actually make a new NFC Keycard to make that function work I think.

  3. Just received my invitation from the ds to come in for the free camera upgrade. I bought a late 2016 model S and although it has been frustrating watching everyone but me allowed into the beta program, it is nice that Tesla is stepping up now and giving the free upgrade. And I will have one of the rare Teslas that can self drive and has free charging for life.

    • Do you have MCU1 or MCU2?

      I have an MCU1 Tesla that also has the unlimited supercharging. But I refuse to pay for the MCU upgrade.

    • Hi Travis,
      Like you I have a late 2016 model S with purchased fsd located in Toronto, Canada. The computer, mcu and cameras have all the upgraded to the latest. Cameras were upgraded in early November. With a 99 safety score and over 400 kms driven with and without autopilot, I am still waiting for Tesla to push the fsd beta. Have you received your invite to download?

  4. I have a late 2016 model S with purchased fsd located in Toronto, Canada. The computer, mcu and cameras have all the upgraded to the latest. Cameras were upgraded in early November. With a 99 safety score and over 400 kms driven with and without autopilot, I am still waiting for Tesla to push the fsd beta…

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