Even with safety investigations looming, Tesla is plowing ahead with its Full Self-Driving beta. According to Elon Musk, the company is planning to raise the price of its advanced driver assistance system to $15,000, a move that coincides with the wide release of the FSD 10.69.2 beta.
The new price is a 25 percent increase from the previous $12,000 charge if you’re purchasing the FSD software upfront. According to Musk, the price increase is scheduled for September 5. If you order a Tesla before that, you’ll still get the current $12,000 price, even if the Tesla is delivered after that. Musk didn’t note if Tesla was planning on raising the price of the subscription model for FSD, which is currently $199 per month.
The price increase makes it feel like it’s just business as usual for Tesla, even though it’s facing ongoing safety investigations from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) regarding its Autopilot system. Tesla is at least slowing the rollout of its latest FSD version, as Musk recently recently tweeted that Tesla would be doing an “extra cautious rollout.”
Under investigation —
For the uninitiated, Tesla offers three tiers of driver assistance: Autopilot, Enhanced Autopilot, and Full-Self Driving. Despite the name, FSD isn’t exactly fully autonomous driving. While you can navigate to locations hands-free, a human driver is still required to be present behind the steering wheel in the event that intervention is necessary.
The tech is arguably the most advanced autonomous driving software at a consumer level, but that hasn’t stopped Tesla’s Autopilot system from falling into hot water. The NHTSA recently opened an investigation into a few dozen incidents — some of which were fatal — where drivers crashed while using Tesla’s Autopilot system.
Pricing patterns —
It’s not too surprising that Tesla decided to increase the price of its FSD system, especially since it’s increased in price several times before. After basic Autopilot was included in every Tesla, the FSD add-on was priced at $8,000. It was later increased to $10,000 in 2021 and then $12,000 this year.
Still, it’s a sharp contrast for Tesla to be raising prices for its FSD while its Autopilot is facing scrutiny at a regulatory level. While there are real doubts that Tesla’s software is truly ready for public consumption, the company doesn’t appear to be particularly concerned. The price hike amidst the investigations doesn’t exactly inspire customer confidence, but unless the NHTSA says otherwise, Tesla is still fully at the wheel when it comes to pushing its self-driving software.