Tesla introduces price hike for full self driving amid controversial Musk claims
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As Tesla edges closer to Level 5 autonomous driving, it's added a mild price hike onto the price of optional full self-driving capabilities on its range of EVs. The work-in-progress tech will go up in price by US$1000 in July, making it a US$8000 option.
As is tradition, the news was confirmed on Twitter by Tesla CEO Elon Musk. And, as is also tradition, the Tweet has attracted a mix of praise criticism.
The FSD price will continue to rise as the software gets closer to full self-driving capability with regulatory approval. It that point, the value of FSD is probably somewhere in excess of $100,000.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 18, 2020
"The [Full Self-Driving] price will continue to rise as the software gets closer to full self-driving capability with regulatory approval," he said. "It that point [sic], the value of FSD is probably somewhere in excess of $100,000."
While those who tick the feature in their order (or add it to their existing car) won't be able to actually make use of 'full self driving', they do get some other bonuses like automatic lane changing, automatic parking, navigation on Autopilot, and more.
Tesla's pursuit of full self-driving capabilities has long had its critics; from the decision to name its more simplistic Level 2 system 'Autopilot', to the act of charging consumers for an upgrade that's been delayed over and over again. Remembering that Musk once said it would be ready by the end of 2017.
Musk's claim that the unreleased feature is valued "in excess of $100,000" has come under particular scrutiny. It dovetails with earlier claims from the CEO that the feature could result in Teslas becoming 'appreciating assets', as part of the goal to get a self-driving Tesla ride-sharing network up and running to rival the likes of Uber.
The obvious point to make here is that the technology appears to still be worlds away from becoming a reality. Publications like EV specialists Electrek have suggested that the move is designed to give Tesla a financial lift for its second quarter sales figures.