Technology

Elon Musk says Tesla is raising the price of its ‘fully self-driving’ software to $12k

Tesla CEO Elon Musk says the company is raising the price of its full self-driving software (FSD) to $12,000. Musk tweeted Friday that the new price, which is a $2,000 increase, will take effect Jan. 17 for “US only” customers. He said that the monthly subscription price of $199 for FSD would rise as the software got closer to a wide release.

Tesla began testing FSD in beta — when it cost $8,000 — in October 2020 with a select group of customers. Tesla raised the price of FSD to $10,000 shortly afterwards. The software does not make Tesla vehicles fully autonomous; Musk himself said during a 2019 earnings call that Teslas with FSD “will be able to drive from home to work, most likely without intervention. So he will still be supervised, but he will be able to drive.”

In September, Tesla opened the FSD beta to more drivers via a “request” button on vehicle dashboard screens, but to access the software, drivers must have a good “safety score.” Tesla determines the safety score using five criteria that estimate “the likelihood that your driving style could lead to a future collision.”

Musk has been promising a wider release of Tesla’s FSD for several years now. He said in 2018 that the “highly anticipated” version of FSD would start rolling out that summer, and in 2019 predicted that “in a year” there would be “more than a million cars with fully self-driving, software, everything.” Those dates came and went, but Tesla’s FSD remains in beta, available only to early adopters who bought the FSD package.

The FSD software has also received quite a bit of attention and criticism; in August 2021, USA. Sens. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate how Tesla marketed its driver assistance software, accusing the company of “deceptive and unfair practices.”