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Tesla raises the price of fully self-driving cars to $15,000 on September 5, expanding beta testing

CEO Elon Musk confirmed on Sunday via Twitter the cost of Tesla’s controversially named premium driver assistance system, which is fully self-driving, will increase to $15,000 as of May 5. 9.

The automaker is also rolling out a version (10.69) of its Full Self-Driving beta software, essentially allowing more drivers to become beta testers, fine-tuning how the software behaves on the road public.

The price has been $12,000 since this past January, and it increased to $10,000 in October 2020. The system only costs $5,000 to add to new Teslas until May 2019, when Tesla starts. a series of rallies towards the initial limited beta launch of FSD functionality.

Musk has long suggested that one of the goals of Full Self-Driving is to create a fleet of Tesla cars. Under that idea, owners could have their car act like a robot on the Tesla Network when they don’t need it.

That plan includes remove a purchase option at the end of the lease – a scenario that eventually played out earlier this year, though for market reasons instead, as the value of used Teslas has increased dramatically.

In 2020, amid rising prices, Musk stated that by the time the system receives full regulatory approval, its value could be “Exceeds $100,000.”

Tesla automatic driving sensor system

Tesla automatic driving sensor system

Tesla’s Autopilot The suite of driver assistance features includes adaptive cruise control and active lane control, while Advanced Autopilot adds Autopilot Navigation and Automatic Lane Change functionality. The dynamics will effectively handle driving on a ramp to a shortcut, as long as the driver is ready to take control at any moment, immediately. Full self-driving adds Autosteer on the street and automatic traffic and stop sign recognition. Both are beta systems, but it should be noted that as a Level 2 SAE system, responsibility and accountability will remain with the driver at all times and the driver must provide constant supervision.

Other manufacturers, such as Mercedes and Genesis, have offered similar systems for several model years.

In recent months, pressure has been exerted on Tesla to present the system in a way that acknowledges its limitations — a change that could begin with a renaming of the system. In June, NHTSA opened Technical Analysis of Autopilot and extends to all US Tesla models with Autopilot, with the agency indicating that drivers are relying on the system for more assistance. That move caused the system to need only a short safe recall.

The 2022 Tesla Series (Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.)

The 2022 Tesla Series (Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.)

The system has also faced growing opposition from prominent safety advocates, including Ralph Nader, who earlier this month called Tesla’s deployment “one of the most dangerous and irresponsible acts by a car company in decades.” And last year, the head of the NTSB called the use of fully self-driving cars “Misunderstanding and irresponsible.”

Last week, NHTSA sent a letter to Tesla, asking some specific questions about how it assesses driver attention and in-vehicle camera use, with a response deadline of September 19.

The FSD price hike adds to recent price hikes for Tesla vehicles — most recently in June. Another $3,000 off the base price of the popular Model Y.

In 2021, Tesla also introduced monthly subscription option for full self-driving. Tesla has yet to confirm that they are also getting a price increase, but that could be coming. At the current $199 monthly fee (or $99 in some configurations), it will take more than six years for the upfront fee to make sense.

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