Tesla CEO Elon Musk says the company is raising the price of its “full self driving” (FSD) software to $12,000. Musk tweeted Friday that the new price, which is an increase of $2,000, will take effect January 17th for customers “only in the US.” He said the monthly subscription price of $199 for FSD would rise as the software got closer to wide release.
Tesla began testing FSD in beta in October of 2020 — when it was priced at $8,000 — with a select group of customers. Tesla increased the price of FSD to $10,000 shortly after. The software does not make Tesla vehicles fully autonomous; Musk himself said during a 2019 earnings call that Teslas with FSD are “able to drive from one’s house to work, most likely without interventions. So it will still be supervised, but it will be able to drive.”
In September, Tesla opened the FSD beta to more drivers via a “request” button on vehicles’ dashboard screens, but to get access to the software, drivers have to have a good “safety score.” Tesla determines the safety score using five criteria that estimate “the likelihood that your driving could result in a future collision.”
Musk has promised a wider release of Tesla’s FSD for several years. He said in 2018 that the “long awaited” version of FSD would begin rolling out that summer, then projected in 2019 that “a year from now” there would be “over a million cars with full 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 drawn a fair amount of scrutiny and criticism; in August 2021, US. Sens. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate how Tesla was marketing its driver assistance software, accusing the company of “deceptive and unfair practices.”