Elon Musk has announced the price of their Full-Self Driving software upgrade, will increase to US$12,000 on January 17th (just over a week from now). Currently, the price of Tesla’s FSD software is US$10,000 or A$10,100.
This raises a lot of questions like why increase the price again now, and the obvious answer is that as we’ve seen previously Tesla is advancing the functionality FSD which they believe justifies a higher purchase price.
In a series of replies, Musk has provided additional information, including that this price rise will be for the US only at this stage. For now, the subscription price will remain the same, at US$199 per month, but will rise as they get closer to FSD production code release. When this occurs, we’ll see FSD beta features come to more countries and we’re likely to see Tesla roll out subscriptions to more countries simultaneously.
Increasing the price of software that is still in development is always going to be contentious and people will always have different opinions about the value they derive from the software and make an assessment if it is worth it.
While the most current release FSDBeta 10.8 has impressed many in its more refined UI, better decision making, improved cornering at intersections etc, there is still quite a bit of work to get it to the point that Autopilot is on the highway today.
Elon replied to a tweet today which sheds more light on the development path and timeline going forward. Beta 10.9 is scheduled for release in about a week, about 3 weeks since 10.8, which arrived simultaneously with their holiday update.
More importantly, we learn about progress on FSD Beta V11. For many months now we’ve heard about AI eating more of the software stack that drives these cars. In V11, Tesla will move to a single software stack, so the code responsible (and associated visualisations) will be the same regardless of your driving on a highway or city streets. Musk says we should expect this and ‘many other architectural upgrades’ probably next month.
While the timing of the FSD price increase and the Beta version update to V11, don’t align perfectly, it seems obvious this is what has led to the price rise and for those who’ve followed Tesla for some time, a rise in pricing, should not come as a surprise.
Personally, I got into FSD at $8,500 with the understanding that I’ll keep my car for a long time, so ultimately it’ll be worth it, regardless of which year the system is completed. At US$12k, the duration you would need to keep your car to have a positive ROI on this versus subscribing does extend further, so the decision will become harder.
The decision to buy FSD outright now or not is made more complex by having the increase before any new V11 functionality is able to be experienced. This may be the price jump that makes many more consider subscriptions, although the price increase for those is not yet known.
So how do you feel about the FSD price rise? Leave a comment below.