At $15,000, Tesla’s self-driving option might cause some cringe

Elon Musk has just announced the dates for the next updates to its “Full Self-Driving” autonomous driving system. These improvements expected by users will be accompanied by a price increase of nearly €3,000, for those who have not taken the option before September 5th.

It was once again on his favorite social network, Twitter, that Elon Musk did official announcements for Tesla this Sunday, August 21, 2022. In several tweets, he shared the steps for the next update to Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) system. With this feature, some US Tesla drivers can have their vehicle driven from point A to point B with little or no driving input. Elon Musk is taking advantage of a major software update for this option to announce that its price will increase by around €3,000.

At Tesla’s general meeting of shareholders in July, Elon Musk had promised a big step forward for his system in the coming weeks. He was careful not to talk about a possible increase in his price. All this only concerns the American customers of the brand for the moment, and for good reason, the Full Self-Driving is for the moment essentially reserved for them.

+ 300% compared to the starting price of the option

Elon Musk must most certainly consider that the increase is justified by the work of updating his autonomous driving system. We are still talking about a 25% increase in this option, while the last price increase dates back to January. The service is currently billed at $12,000 (just under €12,000) and will increase to $15,000 as of September 5 after the latest update. Elon Musk reassured all the same, saying that all customers who have reserved the option before the increase, on September 5, will keep the price of $ 12,000, even if their vehicle is delivered later in the year. .

In a short time, the FSD self-driving option went from 5,000 to 10,000, then $12,000. The option accumulates an increase of +300% compared to its starting price. It is not insignificant. The question of the profitability of such a feature may arise when acquiring a new Tesla. Customers often feel obliged to take the option to avoid a depreciation of their car on resale.

Elon Musk promises that this version 10.69 brings many improvements. Also considered as improvements are the fact that the car no longer engages dangerously in certain intersections, or that the car is no longer tempted to crash into other vehicles by deviating from its lane. This remains theoretical for the moment: a first group of 1,000 loyal customers received a preview of this update to test it on a large scale. It will then be gradually rolled out to other users of the Full Self-Driving beta, correcting certain bugs detected in the field.

A paradox in the face of the outcry against this feature

Tesla continues to roll out its plan to provide this autonomous driving function, which is not really one, without really worrying about whether its approach complies with the rules established by the authorities. Technically, this system remains a level 2 autonomous driving solution like all driving aids available on the market. Tesla has not taken any steps to certify its system as level 3 autonomous driving, unlike Mercedes. It should also be remembered that Autopilot and Full Self-Driving are under investigation, following an increase in accidents caused by Teslas.

Self-driving Tesla FSD. // Source: Tesla live video capture

Other groups have decided to start a campaign to ban its use, publishing a distorted study, according to which Tesla autonomous driving could be dangerous. All the blows seem allowed to stop or slow down Tesla on the question.

It must be said that Tesla customers, who currently have access to this feature, pay to be beta testers. Some even push the experiments to the limit of what is reasonable. It is their circulation in the streets of different American cities and their bug reports that trigger updates and patches that are then sent to other users.

With these latest announcements, Elon Musk looks a bit like a peddler at a fair, stalking the barge shouting loud and clear to potential customers: “Hurry up and buy before the price goes up, be the first to take advantage of our new revolutionary system that everyone envies us. But this technique could still throw a little oil on the fire, in the face of critics of Elon Musk’s methods.

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