If you're a Tesla buyer, you were probably miffed when you realized that the self-driving hardware revision rendered your car obsolete, even if it was just weeks old. However, you're going to have to get used to that feeling if you're going to stick with the brand. Tesla founder Elon Musk is telling customers that there will be "major" revisions every 12 to 18 months -- not quite yearly, but far more frequently than the every few years (at best) you see from conventional companies. He adds that retrofits would slow the company's progress "dramatically." For example, adding self-driving tech to earlier vehicles would require stripping the "entire car" and replacing 300 parts.
The mention doesn't come as a complete shock. Tesla frequently operates more like a tech company than an automaker, including its fondnesses for beta tests and constant lineup adjustments. All the same, it's clearer than ever that Tesla isn't about to settle into the familiar patterns of its conventional rivals. And that's both good and bad. It guarantees that you'll get cutting-edge tech whenever you buy, but it also means that your car could feel outdated in record time -- you may be hesitant to buy if you suspect that you'll miss out on a must-have feature. Still, we'll take that over the minor, iterative changes you see all too often in the automotive world.