Elon Musk warned that Tesla would hike the price of Full Self-Driving now that it’s in beta, and he’s being true to his word. The Verge reports Tesla has raised the cost of the package to $10,000 in the US for both new car buyers and upgrades, up $2,000 from before. And that price isn’t guaranteed to stay put — as usual, Tesla warns that the pricing is “likely to increase” as it rolls out new features.
Full Self-Driving, despite the name, doesn’t currently drive the car entirely by itself. You still need to pay attention and sometimes take the wheel. Instead, it unlocks more semi-autonomous features like Auto Lane Change, Autopark and traffic light stops, on top of more familiar perks like Navigate on Autopilot. The ultimate goal is to offer true full autonomy that lets you use your car as a robotaxi.
Musk has long argued that Full Self-Driving will offer increasing value as more features come into play. The hike also reflects a longstanding strategy of generating profit through add-ons, sometimes by unlocking capabilities your car already has. Your ‘entry’ Model 3 may cost what it does in part because buyers for higher-end EVs are paying a premium.
Whether or not customers bite is another matter. That $10,000 price could make the upgrade prohibitively expensive for some buyers, especially Model 3 and Y customers. There’s also the question of whether or not it’s worthwhile even if you have the money to spend. Standard Autopilot could easily be good enough for some, and there’s an argument to be made that rivals sometimes offer better value if you don’t mind driving a gas-powered car.