Current and future Tesla owners just got hit with some pretty terrible news. The car's full self-driving feature is getting more expensive.
Tesla is increasing the cost of its Full-Self Driving software to $15,000, representing a $3,000 jump. CEO Elon Musk said the new price will go into effect starting on September 5th in North America. But drivers who order a vehicle before then won’t have to pay more. The move coincides with the release of the 10.69.2 Beta update which recently started rolling out to testers. It’s still unclear if the carmaker plans on raising the price of its related subscription which currently costs $199 per month depending on the current Autopilot capabilities of your EV.
Over the years, Tesla has consistently increased the price of its Full Self-Driving feature. When the company first began offering FSD as a separate option from Autopilot, it cost $5,000 to add the program during configuration and $7,000 post-delivery. At the start of the year, the price went from $10,000 to $12,000 and spiked once more. According to TechCrunch, Elon Musk hinted at a price increase in July when he referred to the software as “ridiculously cheap.” He said a price hike would be the difference between the company “being worth a lot of money, or worth basically zero.”
The sentiment is in line with Elon Musk referring to Tesla as “appreciating assets” in 2019. This means that they’ll increase in value as the company launches additional driver-assist features. The billionaire later claimed that the value of FSD vehicles could reach over $100,000 as the software gets closer to full self-driving capability with regulatory approval, The Verge reports. But earlier this month, California’s Department of Motor Vehicles accused the manufacturer of making “untrue or misleading claims” about its vehicles’ self-driving capabilities.
The DMV says Tesla’s Autopilot and Full-Self-Driving phrases, as well as other language the company uses to describe their vehicles, could deceive customers into thinking that the EVs can operate autonomously. In response to the feedback, Elon Musk’s firm defended the name saying that its technology will become more capable over time. As of 2021, the company was in the process of laying the groundwork for a fully autonomous driving experience, according to J.D Power.
Then, last August, Senators Ed Markey and Richard Blumenthal asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the way Tesla advertises its Full-Self-Driving and Autopilot software. The lawmakers even sent a letter to Elon Musk expressing significant concerns over the company’s flawed driver-assist system. “While advanced driver assistance and automated driving systems have the potential to improve safety, they must be implemented responsibly and comply with existing traffic laws,” the document said.
“When these systems do not meet these essential requirements, they put all of those who use our roads at risk of injury or death,” the letter continued. At the time Tesla responded by saying its system can help customers drive more safely than the average person in America. “Tesla’s Autopilot and FSD Capability features enhance the ability of our customers to drive safer than the average driver in the U.S,” Senior Director of Public Policy at Tesla Rohan Patel said at the time.