Tesla debuts ‘FSD’ subscription for $ 199 per month

Tesla just unveiled a way for customers to sign up for its premium driver assistance package for $ 199 a month, instead of paying $ 10,000 up front.

Marketed as full autonomous driving capability (or FSD), the driver assistance system does not make Tesla’s electric vehicles safe to use without an attentive driver behind the wheel.

An eligible owner shared a notice he received from Tesla on Friday with CNBC, which read:

“The full autonomous driving capability is now available as a monthly subscription. Upgrade your Model Y… for $ 199 (excluding tax) to experience features like Navigate on Autopilot, Automatic Lane Change, Automatic Parking, Summons & Traffic Light, and Stop Sign Control. Currently enabled functions require active driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous. “

While this person’s Tesla Model Y possessed all the necessary components to start an FSD subscription, other owners regretted that they would have to pay $ 1,500 to upgrade their Tesla computer to the Hardware 3, or HW3 version, which the company first displayed. at your Autonomy Day event. in April 2019 to subscribe.

Customers who previously purchased Tesla’s Enhanced Autopilot Package, which it no longer sells, can subscribe to FSD for a lower price of $ 99 a month, but may require the HW3 upgrade.

In a subscription agreement on Tesla’s website, electric vehicle maker Elon Musk cautions that, among other things:

  • FSD features are “subject to change, limited by region” and can only be used on Tesla vehicles that have newer hardware and autopilot technology installed.
  • Drivers are responsible for tolls, parking, or other traffic violations that occur in a Tesla that operates with the FSD features turned on.
  • Tesla can increase the price of a subscription at any time, but will give drivers a month’s notice before billing them a new rate.
  • Homeowners can cancel FSD at any time, but the company will not prorate their monthly payment if they do.
  • Tesla can suspend or cancel a driver’s FSD subscription if they use the technology, “for anything unauthorized or inappropriate” or for non-payment.

All newer Teslas include a standard set of driver assistance features called Autopilot. Autopilot or standard features allow a Tesla to “automatically turn, accelerate and brake within its lane,” according to the Tesla website.

The premium FSD package enables more elaborate features like Smart Summon, which allows a driver to call their Tesla for pickup from a parking lot or long driveway using the Tesla mobile app as a remote control.

Tesla has also promised that a feature called “Autosteer on City Streets” will soon be available to drivers with FSDs. But the company is far behind its original and even revised goals of offering a sophisticated “robotaxi”.

Musk promised a hands-free cross-country driverless demonstration of Tesla in 2017. His company has yet to complete that mission. In 2019, Musk predicted that Tesla would make autonomous robotaxis in 2020 and cars without a steering wheel or pedals in 2021.

In a first-quarter earnings call, Tesla CFO Zachary Kirkhorn said: “If you look at the size of our fleet and you look at the number of customers who didn’t buy FSD up front or on a lease and maybe they want to experiment with FSD, this is a great option for them. ” He added: “As the subscription customer base grows, that becomes a pretty strong business for us over time.”

To refine unfinished driver assistance features, Tesla offers some owners early access to a beta version of FSD, effectively turning thousands of everyday drivers into software testers on US public roads.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for more information, including whether FSD subscribers will be eligible to participate in the FSD Beta program.

In recent months, as previously reported by CNBC, Tesla has also been telling regulators at the California DMV and NHTSA that its FSD and FSD Beta technology equates to a “tier 2” system, a reference to the automation categories of vehicles written by a professional association for engineers, SAE International.

According to SAE standards, last updated May 2021, drivers of a Tier 2 vehicle are expected to “constantly monitor” it, including by steering, braking or accelerating “as needed to maintain security ”. Tier 2 vehicles have features like automated lane centering that works in conjunction with adaptive cruise control. In contrast, a Tier 4 vehicle may not need a steering wheel or pedals and may function as a local driverless taxi in limited conditions such as good weather.

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