Tesla plans to raise the price of its “fully self-driving” beta software, the advanced driver assistance system that CEO Elon Musk said will mean the difference between the company’s “worth a lot of money or basically worth zero.”
Tesla vehicles today come standard with a driver assistance system called Autopilot. For another $12,000, owners can buy FSD — a feature Musk has repeatedly promised will one day offer full autonomous driving capabilities. FSD includes parking function Summon and Navigate on Autopilot, an active guidance system that navigates a car from an on-ramp to a freeway exit, including recognizing junctions, lane changes and traffic controls. It is now operational on the city streets.
Tesla vehicles, even those equipped with Full Self Driving, or FSD as it is often called, are not self-driving. All of these capabilities require the human driver to hold their attention and take control when needed.
Musk said Wednesday that Tesla has so far implemented FSD with city navigation capabilities for more than 100,000 owners. That’s the same number Musk gave in its first-quarter earnings call, suggesting adoption hasn’t grown.
The latest version, 10.13, includes updates such as improved unprotected left turns, animal detection, speed limit accuracy and speed error for pedestrians and cyclists.
Musk didn’t offer any advice on how much the price will rise, but he did say it’s “ridiculously cheap” at the moment.
Tesla has consistently increased the price of FSD over the years, most recently in January 2022, when the automaker increased the cost from a one-time payment from $10,000 to $12,000. Musk did not say whether Tesla would increase the cost of the monthly subscription, which currently costs $199 per month.
Musk said the price hike would happen before Tesla goes into “broad beta,” meaning anyone who wants to use the beta software “with all the associated limitations” can use it.
“The value of FSD is extremely high and is not well understood by most people,” Musk said. “It’s basically ridiculously cheap right now, assuming FSD becomes a reality, whatever it will be.”
Musk also said Tesla would solve “fully self-driving” by the end of this year, but he didn’t explain what solving FSD actually means.
It could mean reaching level 4 autonomy, which means the car can drive in most conditions and under certain conditions without human intervention. That steep goal of reaching level 4 autonomy could be even more of a reach for Tesla after the company recently lost its top AI architect Andrej Karpathy.