The price of the Tesla option known as “Full Self-Driving,” or FSD, just rose by $2,000 — even as concerns arise over the unproven and still widely unusable technology.
Earlier this month Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced the price hike would kick in on January 17, and in an admittedly rare occurrence, hit his self-imposed deadline. The $10,000 add-on is, as of Tuesday, listed on the Tesla website as $12,000. I was still available for the lower price as recently as Friday.
More and more for just the capability.
Credit: Screengrab / Tesla
For that $12,000 you get access to the full set of Autopilot features. Autopilot is the driver assistance system that offers features such as highway driving and parking, so long as the driver is still paying attention to the road. You also get access to the potential of assisted driving on city streets, something that’s being tested in the ongoing FSD beta program.
A limited number of qualified Tesla drivers with FSD have access to the beta, which just released its latest update with version 10.9. Musk has acknowledged some problem areas in FSD, even as it is being tested on public roads. Testers have noted issues since its October 2020 release with automated driving off the highway, especially in more complicated driving scenarios (such as when your car is near train tracks, on an unprotected turn).
But the bottom line is that the majority of Tesla FSD buyers are still paying, and now paying more, for a possible future capability. No access date is known. Even when it arrives, is it really $12,000 worth of usefulness to you? Your Tesla is far from autonomous. You need to keep your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road, no matter what vision of the future the company is trying to sell. The CEO of a rival car software is voicing this concern as he helps to launch a campaign against “Musk’s ill-advised full self-driving robot car experiment.”
Despite the $2,000 price hike, subscription pricing for FSD appears to be the same at up to $199 for a month of access. We reached out to Tesla to confirm that, but given that the company has dismantled its media team during the pandemic, we’re not holding our breath until we hear back.