Tesla’s ‘new product’: Self-driving hardware that won’t work right away

Elon Musk’s latest much-hyped Tesla Motors Inc. “product announcement” Wednesday night promised that all who buy a new Tesla car will have the hardware needed for the car to drive itself.

The problem: It won’t work right away.

Instead, Musk promised that Tesla TSLA, +2.24% will eventually update the cars’ software with autonomous capabilities later, after using data captured by drivers to refine the system. Even basic semiautonomous offerings available on current Tesla models, which offer the previous version of the hardware for $3,000, will not be available on new cars with the new hardware included, including the Model 3.

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