Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) feature will get more expensive soon, but that’s all pocket change compared to its potential value — if you ask Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
According to Musk, FSD will cost $1,000 more starting July 1, bringing its cost to $8,000 when purchased with a new Tesla Model 3, S, X or Y.
The FSD package builds on Tesla’s Autopilot set of features, and it includes driver assistance features such as Navigate on Autopilot, Smart Summon, Auto Lane Change and Autopark. Ultimately, however, Tesla says it expects FSD-equipped cars to achieve a “new level of autonomy,” though fully automated driving won’t happen without regulatory approval.
The price hike of FSD is no surprise; Elon Musk announced the price for the feature set would be “substantially” rising back in April 2019. For comparison, the price for FSD was $5,000 if you ordered it with a new car back then.
On Tuesday, Musk said the price of FSD would continue to rise “as the software gets closer to full self-driving capability with regulatory approval.” However, he also gave an interesting prediction of FSD’s value when that happens.
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.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 18, 2020
“It (sic) that point, the value of FSD is probably somewhere in excess of $100,000,” he tweeted.
That would mean that anyone who buys a Tesla car with FSD now is basically getting the car for free (plus some change, depending on the model). While that’s not completely outside the realm of possibility, a lot of things would need to happen before this becomes true. One is regulatory approval of autonomous cars, as Musk mentioned. When that happens, Tesla owners could — in theory — have their cars earn them money by ferrying other passengers around when not needed, robotaxi-style. Then, having FSD in your Tesla would start bringing a return on your investment and possibly even pay off the entire cost of the car and more over a long-term period.
It’s all possible and perhaps even likely to happen one day, but it might be a long wait until it does.