Tesla CEO and founder Elon Musk has announced that the pricing increase for Full Self Driving (FSD) that was expected on August 16 is being delayed another one or two months.
With the V10 upgrade of Tesla’s Autopilot software to Early Access Program (EAP) participants just around the corner, the pricing increase for Full Self Driving – which currently costs an extra $A8,500 on top of the standard Autopilot – is being postponed until the latest upgrade is available with Smart Summon.
Price increase for Tesla FSD postponed until version 10 with smart summon is in wide release, which is about 4 to 8 weeks away, depending on how early access goes
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 20, 2019
Musk announced via Twitter on Monday last week that access to the early rollout of V10 would begin in about two weeks – which means, all going well and Tesla’s schedule not being subject to “Elon time”, that may start by the beginning of next week.
Then, depending on how the early access program for V10 goes, Tesla owners may start seeing over-the-air upgrades for V10 occurring at anywhere from late September to late October.
Until earlier this year, Autopilot was included as part of an “Enhanced Autopilot” (EAP) package, however that all changed when Tesla removed the EAP option, making certain features standard for all new Tesla electric vehicles.
The current version of Autopilot includes, as per the Tesla website, the ability for “your car to steer, accelerate and brake automatically for other vehicles and pedestrians within its lane”.
Version 10 will include Smart Summon, which will allow Tesla owners to summon their vehicles from anywhere is a car park, negating the need to say, lug shopping trolleys or bags of purchases back to the car – yes, it is that cool.
The Early Access Program includes all drivers that included FSD at the time of purchase, as confirmed by Musk on Wednesday morning.
Everyone who bought FSD will receive priority/early access
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 20, 2019
The rising cost of Full Self Driving is the cause of some chagrin, however Musk has made it clear that the price of Full Self Driving will increase over time, perhaps a strategy to encourage more people to buy in early.
Please note that the price of the Tesla Full Self-Driving option will increase substantially over time
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 13, 2019
In June it jumped from $A7,100 by $A1,400 to $A8,500, attracting some criticism from buyers who were late to the party.
Adding FSD at the time of purchase means that a Tesla vehicle will be delivered with Tesla’s own self-driving motherboard with two in-house AI chips built in, that have been designed by Tesla from the ground up and Musk said when Tesla first revealed their full self-driving plan in August last year, will be “super kick-ass”.
Its full operation in the vehicle however will remain dormant until such time as lawmakers and regulators make full self-driving – that is, Level 5 autonomous driving – legal.
The fact that the development of advanced technologies costs money cannot be escaped either, and although FSD can be added later, Tesla has made it clear that will cost more again.
However in Australia, many drivers have commented on social media that when buying the Tesla Model 3 sedan, they have held off adding FSD at the time of purchase to avoid paying the extra 33% Luxury Car Tax (LCT) that fuel-efficient vehicles costing above $A75,526 attract.
So far, Tesla vehicles with FSD capabilities can perform lane changes on highways with human assistance, and park automatically.
In time, more features are planned by Tesla, including the ability to recognise stop signs and traffic lights, and react accordingly, and “Navigate on Autopilot”. which allows automatic entry and exit to and from highway offramps/onramps, as well as overtaking slower vehicles.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.