This morning on Twitter, Elon Musk confirmed that two key features of the Full Self-Driving package are going to make their way to Australia, very soon.
Full Self-Driving (FSD) is available as an optional extra on Tesla vehicles that currently costs A$8,500. Elon Musk had suggested that as functionality improves the price would increase to reflect the additional functionality. Recently the company delivered Smart Summon feature in the US and subsequently announced a price rise at the end of the month.
With Australian’s still waiting for both the Smart Summon and Navigate on Autopilot features, it was unclear if Australia would also see the price rise.
It was thought the delay was due to a lack of regulatory approval, but Musk’s response indicates they’ve worked their way through that and the features will arrive in Australia very soon.
Very soon could mean within weeks, which also may mean those who haven’t yet purchased FSD, may want to before the November 1st price increase.
For new Tesla owners, me included, that have stretched financially to afford a Tesla, asking another almost $10,000 for FSD is a big ask. You have to weigh the functionality on offer, versus the value you think you can derive from the features.
Navigate on Autopilot is certainly the bigger feature of the two. This allows you to set a destination and have the car automatically lane change for you (around slower traffic). It will also detect the right freeway exit to take and hand back control, for now.
Smart Summon right now is definitely a show off to your friends kind of feature, as the car comes to pick you up in car parks. In theory, it can also drop you at the entrance of a shopping centre and go park itself, but given the number of multi-story carparks we have in metro areas, that piece of the puzzle is still on the do-list.
Next, we need support for navigating roundabouts, traffic lights and stop signs. Achieving full self-driving will be the result of the ticking of the outstanding road environments the vehicle can navigate without human intervention.
As we close in on the end of 2019, we also approach the date Musk suggested FSD would be feature complete. While we may be a little delayed compared to the US customers, it is great to see the rate of development in this space from Tesla.