UPDATED 12:15 EDT / AUGUST 22 2022


Tesla introduces a price increase for its Full Self-Driving software

Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Elon Musk said on Sunday that the cost of his company’s Full Self-Driving software, FSD, will go up from $12,000 to $15,000.

Musk said the increase will be for cars bought after Sept. 5. He didn’t mention anything about the $199 subscription fee, but it’s expected to remain at the same price. Musk did state the reason for the price hike: the rollout of the FSD beta 10.69 software. Tesla has said the update is a vast improvement on the last product, creating a safer and smoother driving experience.

“There are many major code changes, so this will be an extra cautious rollout,” Musk tweeted a few days ago. “Releasing on 8/20 to ~1000 Tesla owners, then 10.69.1 next week to accommodate feedback & release to ~10k customers, then 10.69.2 week after & release to rest of FSD Beta.”

Tesla cars come with various types of software that each have limitations. There is the standard Autopilot, although FSD comes with more bells and whistles and is closer to giving people the experience of being driven around by a robot.

Nonetheless, Full Self-Driving is somewhat misleading because these cars are not supposed to be driven entirely by a computer. Tesla tells people that although the software is smart and getting much smarter, drivers should keep their hands on the wheel. Not everyone has listened, so there have been some accidents when people put too much trust in their car’s software.

Last year, the California Department of Motor Vehicles said it was suing Tesla over the language it used. It said that when people see Full Self-Driving they actually might think full self-driving. “If the DMV finds Tesla is misleading customers, potential penalties include suspension or revocation of DMV autonomous vehicle deployment permits and manufacture and dealer licenses,” a DMV spokesperson told the Los Angeles Times.

It will be some time before our streets are filled with fully autonomous vehicles, especially on busy streets. But as the technology stands, it can still help drivers when they look like they are going to crash. Tesla’s director of Autopilot software, Ashok Elluswamy, said the other day, “Autopilot prevents ~40 crashes/day where human drivers mistakenly press the accelerator at 100% instead of the brakes.”

There are obvious benefits to someone’s car being taken over when its driver is sure to hit something. It’s just a pity that some drivers like to put too much faith in this software, which is one reason why Tesla is currently being investigated by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Photo: David von Diemar/Unsplash

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