Tesla CEO Elon Musk has announced on Twitter that the company plans to increase the price of its 'Full Self Driving' option, yet again. That's consistent with what Musk had said in the past, that the company would raise the price significantly as they get closer to actually making Full Self Driving features available.
But that's the thing about Tesla's Full Self Driving option, the feature doesn't exist yet. Actually, Tesla must gradually raise the price as time goes on, otherwise, there would be no incentive for anyone to order it when they originally get the car. They could just wait until it was ready and order and pay for it then. If that were the case, Tesla would then lose hundreds of millions in revenue brought in by selling the FSD feature.
When I bought my long-range AWD Model 3 in May of 2019, I opted not to pay for the FSD option. That's because I wasn't really convinced it was coming anytime soon - and actually I'm still not. Plus, the standard Autopilot features are fine for me, as is. They work very well and offer just the right amount of driver assistance for my liking at this time.
In my opinion, when I can get in the car, set my destination and read a book or catch up on some sleep while I'm being driven to my destination, then it's worth paying for. Until then, the basic autopilot features that I have now are perfect.
However, I also don't want to discourage anyone from purchasing the FSD option if they want it and believe it's going to be available within an acceptable timeframe for them.
November or December of this year, we should be able to go from a parking lot in California to a parking lot in New York, no controls touched at any point during the entire journey. - Elon Musk, April 2017
According to Musk, that was supposed to happen by now. Back in April of 2017, he said that by the end of that year, a Tesla will be able to drive itself from California to New York without any human intervention. At that TED conference, he also said that in about two years the driver won't even have to pay attention anymore, and they can even take a nap while the car drives if they'd like.
Musk doubled down on that claim a year ago when he tweeted by the end of 2019 everyone with a Tesla will be able to do a cross country drive without any human intervention. That's still not possible.
We understand how difficult it is to bring autonomous driving to the public, and certainly don't want to offer the impression that Tesla isn't a leader in the industry. However, there are those that have been critical of Tesla for increasing the price of FSD, even though they haven’t delivered the promised features yet, and those are legitimate concerns.
With this latest $1,000 increase, the Full Self Driving option will go up from the current $7,000 to $8,000 on July 1st, 2020.
In addition to the price increase announcement, Musk also tweeted:
"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."
That would make the value of FSD much more than the value of the rest of the vehicle. It would also support his continued claim that Teslas are "appreciating assets" because they continue to improve in many ways.
If Musk's announcement does influence new buyers and existing owners to order the FSD before July 1st to avoid the price increase, it will certainly help Tesla’s Q2 financials. Nearly every company in business is looking at a disastrous Q2 report, and perhaps Tesla is banking on the additional revenue from FSD sales to cushion the blow of the COVID-19 shutdown.
We know our readers have strong opinions on this topic and we'd like to hear your thoughts. Do you think Tesla has delivered on FSD promises? If you were buying a new Tesla now would you spring for the $7,000 option, or wait until the feature is complete and pay the extra cost? Let us know in the comment section below.