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Tesla is using older hardware in Chinese Model 3 cars because of supply issues

Igor Bonifacic
Contributing Writer
Roberto Baldwin/Engadget

Tesla has become the latest company to have to contend with the ongoing coronavirus epidemic, reports the BBC. Supply chain disruptions in China caused by the crisis forced the automaker to equip recent locally-produced Model 3 vehicles with its older Hardware 2.5 chip rather than its new Hardware 3.0 silicon.

Understandably, a lot of the country's Model 3 owners weren't happy to find out their brand new car had left the Gigafactor 3 floor with older hardware. According to the BBC, the new chip is up to 21 times faster at processing images than its predecessor. A lot of that has to do with the fact Tesla built the new chip from the ground up to handle autonomous driving tasks.

Teslarati says Chinese Model 3 owners discovered the discrepancy after comparing vehicle controller hardware codes. Tesla, however, quickly apologized for the decision and said it will offer free upgrades to affected Model 3 owners once supplies become available. The coronavirus outbreak has had other effects on the company's Chinese operation. Just a few weeks after it started producing vehicles at its new Gigafactory plant in Shanghai, Tesla had to pause work following a government-mandated order. It reopened the plant on February 10th.

Consumers outside of China have felt the effects of the coronavirus epidemic as well. For instance, Valve recently said supplies of its Index VR headset would be limited ahead of the highly anticipated launch of Half-Life: Alyx. Tech conferences have also had to adapt, with Google cancelling its annual I/O developer conference on Tuesday.