Tesla launched its ‘Full Self-Driving’ ride as a $199 subscription service instead of paying $10,000 upfront – and you have a chance to try it too. Tesla also stated that this is not entirely self-driving. Tesla has previously said the subscription service will generate recurring revenue and expand its customer base for expensive features like lane-changing and parking assistance on highways. However, the US electric car maker added in a statement that the existing features “do not make the vehicle autonomous” and “require a fully attentive driver with their hands on the steering wheel”.
Zachary Kirkhorn, Tesla’s CFO, said in a statement about the plan that “there may be a period of running low on cash in the near term”. However, he also emphasized that the subscription service will create recurring income for the company. “If you look at the number of customers who haven’t pre-purchased or leased FSD and maybe want to try FSD, it’s a great option for them.”
Tesla said the subscription service is available on vehicles equipped with Full Self-Driving computer 3.0 or higher. He told customers that upgrading to new hardware would cost $1,500. Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk predicted in 2019 that non-human driver robotics would be available in some US markets in 2020. Tesla explained that this may not achieve complete self-driving.
He stated that “Full Self-Driving” is an SAE Level 2 system, meaning it requires constant supervision by a careful driver, and explained that this is not fully autonomous, but still requires driver assistance.
Tesla has come under federal scrutiny over whether how it names its technology as deceptive. Tesla has chosen among customers to test its new semi-autonomous driving software on city streets and has offered “FSD Beta v9” to a limited number of customers.