Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) software is about to experience its second big price hike since entering beta in October 2020. What started at $ 8,000 quickly grew to $ 10,000. in a matter of days, and now it should hit $ 12,000 months later.
The change, which was announced by CEO and founder Elon Musk on Twitter, only applies to the United States for now and will take effect on January 17.
In a follow-up tweet, Musk suggested that this may not have been the last price hike either. “The price of FSD will increase as we get closer to the release of the FSD production code,” he said. added.
For now, users can still pay $ 199 per month for the feature if they prefer, but when asked, Musk said that that the monthly price would also increase as the software nears its full version.
The software is still in beta mode, but not everyone can use it. Drivers with the appropriate on-board equipment will also need to prove that they can be trusted not to leave the car to its own devices, by activating the Tesla Insurance Calculator for seven days to assess their general driving skills.
Indeed, even if the autonomous driving software should be able to bring a person from A to B without intervention, the drivers must always be available just in case. Indeed, the beta notes specifically warn users against dropping their guard by saying that they can “do the wrong thing at the worst time”.
Tesla Autopilot vs FSD
Without a doubt, a one-time payment of $ 12,000 – or a subscription of $ 199 per month – is a lot to pay for a beta feature, and more importantly one that still requires the attention of the driver. But it should be made clear that FSD remains a big step forward from autopilot, which has been part of Tesla vehicles for years.
Like Tesla’s website explainsAutopilot is designed to make driving more comfortable, but it is something that always requires your full attention. It works best on highway driving where the car can easily see the road lines and match its speed to nearby vehicles for automated cruise control.
FSD, on the other hand, should require much less driver involvement, with the car not only being able to face the freeway, but also enter via a ramp and change lanes when the driver presses a button. turn signal. It should also react to traffic lights and park for you when you have reached your destination.
But there’s a reason it’s still in beta, and that’s because switching from autopilot to FSD is important. Like Musk himself tweeted in april, “The entire road network is designed for biological neural networks with optical imagers”. Or humans, to put it more succinctly.
Depending on how you look at it, this is either a sign that a price tag of $ 12,000 is a small price to pay for the technology involved, or something best left to humans until proven guilty. .