According to a discovery made by a Tesla hacker, @greentheonly on Twitter, a subscription plan for the ever-improving “Full Self Driving Capability” may be coming down the road for Tesla’s lineup. The decision to monetize the AI’s capabilities would be in line with comments Elon Musk has made in the past, and would be a welcomed option for those not ready to take the plunge on the upfront purchase of FSD.
With Tesla charging a 7,000 USD premium for the unlocking of their full-self-driving package, it’s no wonder that many buyers choose to go without. As is, the feature is still in a sort of ‘beta’ version, with sporadic OTA updates adding a number of capabilities to Autopilot as the months progress. For all but the most enthusiastic early-adopters, it would make sense to just wait until Autopilot and FSD are feature complete, before shelling out the additional cost for the upgrade.
In this day and age, few software companies are still offering a one-time charge for their whole product. As it has been stated repeatedly by analysts, Tesla is more of a software company than a car manufacturer. So by following that logic, of course they would monetize software by way of subscription. The whole deal isn’t much different than the leasing model, with additional trims just adding onto the monthly cost of operations.
What will be interesting is seeing if that price-per-month of FSD, roughly equals the upfront cost spread across a three-year lease. If that is the case, expect this to cost more than another Netflix of Spotify sub, since 7000/36 = approximately $200 a month!
What do you think, would $200/month be worth it? Would the average Tesla buyer prefer the monthly rate, so they could test things out and cancel at any time?