Welcome to the $10k club United States. The price of Tesla’s Full Self Driving software upgrade has just been increased by US$2k to now be a 5 figure purchase.
The price increase reflects the new functionality of the FSD beta (software version 2020.40.8.11) as shown by a rapidly increasing number of videos online (see below).
Elon Musk has been very clear, on a number of occasions, the price of FSD will continue to rise as the functionality does. If you’re a Tesla owner, or planning on being on in the future, you may be disappointed about increase, but you shouldn’t be surprised.
Australia has faced this price tag for a while now, with our FSD purchase price moving from A$8,500 to A$,10,100 when we received Traffic Light and Stop sign control back in July.
While the ability to drive city streets is currently only available in the US, when it does launch in Australia, we should expect another price rise.
The US to AUD exchange rate would make this A$2,838.25 + 10% = A$3,122.07. This could mean once the FSD beta launches in Australia, Australians are likely to face a cost of $13,222.07.
With the price increasing, this leaves many Tesla owners wondering, is FSD worth US$10,000 ?
The answer today is no, but it will be.
From what we’ve seen in the FSDbeta videos, we can now appreciate the trajectory FSD is on. The car has the necessary pieces of the puzzle (cameras, radar, ultrasonic sensors, FSD computer, computer vision, deep-learning AI back-end) to outperform human capabilities while navigating the complex world of driving.
Some of the best demonstrations of this are videos that show the car being able to successfully turn corners, navigate roundabouts, slow down for speed bumps, navigate through drivable space on unmarked roads and more. The cars are yielding to pedestrians and other vehicles, while also navigating their way around parked cars on the side of the road.
Of course, things aren’t perfect, hence the beta label and the big disclaimer when you enable the feature. Despite the limitations, the path to having your car drive itself is now very clear and I believe Tesla will be first to level 4/5 autonomy.
Many Tesla owners (myself included) stretched financially to purchase a Tesla, so asking for another $10k on top is a big ask. If you can find your way to the price tag, then I think you’ll be very happy you did in the future when your car is able to drive you around, pickup your elderly parents, your kid from soccer practice or join the Tesla robotaxi network and return a passive income for you. Under those conditions, $10k seems like a bargain.
Something car isn’t doing is putting itself away in the garage, or parking itself, but that will come overtime.
Initially Musk announced the price would go up just a couple of days after the FSDbeta build was released to those in the very limited early access program. This was subsequently postponed for a week to give more people time to upgrade.
Since then we’ve seen a slew of people online grabbing FSD before the price rise, or placing orders for upcoming vehicles like the Cybertruck to lock in the FSD price.
While the increased price would likely put FSD out of reach for more owners, the announcement of the impending increase has clearly driven additional purchases.
In Musk’s followup tweet, he also referenced the FSD subscription, detailing that monthly rental will now be some time next year. This was definitely a disappointment for some who had held off hoping to go down that route.
The price and conditions of FSD as a subscription is still not known, but expect it to be expensive, much, much more than your Netflix subscription, my guess is between A$150-A$200 per month and you may need to commit for some minimum term, perhaps 12 months.
Here’s some great examples of the car’s capability from those with access to the FSD beta. It is understood this group is expanding shortly and expected to be wider release (still beta) before Christmas.
Now here’s some of the videos from the preview users, demonstrating the car’s current abilities, remember these drivers are aware they are still responsible for the vehicles and are ready to take over at any time.