Tesla mobile app shows signs of upcoming FSD subscriptions

An autonomous Tesla Model 3 in action. (Credit: Tesla)

It appears that Tesla may be preparing to roll out some subscription-based services soon. Based on the observations of a Wales-based Model 3 owner who performed some reverse-engineering on the Tesla mobile app, it seems that the electric car maker has added a new “Subscribe” option beside the “Buy” option within the “Upgrades” tab, at least behind the scenes.

A screenshot of the new option was posted in the r/TeslaMotors subreddit, and while the Tesla owner in question, u/Callump01, admitted that the screenshot looks like something that could be easily fabricated, he did submit proof of his reverse-engineering to the community’s moderators. The moderators of the r/TeslaMotors subreddit confirmed the legitimacy of the Model 3 owner’s work, further suggesting that subscription options may indeed be coming to Tesla owners soon.

Did some reverse engineering on the app and Tesla looks to be preparing for subscriptions? from r/teslamotors

Tesla’s Full Self-Driving suite has been heavily speculated to be offered as a subscription option, similar to the company’s Premium Connectivity feature. And back in April, noted Tesla hacker @greentheonly stated that the company’s vehicles already had the source codes for a pay-as-you-go subscription model. The Tesla hacker suggested then that Tesla would likely release such a feature by the end of the year — something that Elon Musk also suggested in the first-quarter earnings call. “I think we will offer Full Self-Driving as a subscription service, but it will be probably towards the end of this year,” Musk stated.

While the signs for an upcoming FSD subscription option seem to be getting more and more prominent as the year approaches its final quarter, the details for such a feature are still quite slim. Pricing for FSD subscriptions, for example, have not been teased by Elon Musk yet, though he has stated on Twitter that purchasing the suite upfront would be more worth it in the long term. References to the feature in the vehicles’ source code, and now in the Tesla mobile app, also listed no references to pricing.

The idea of FSD subscriptions could prove quite popular among electric car owners, especially since it would allow budget-conscious customers to make the most out of the company’s driver-assist and self-driving systems without committing to the features’ full price. The current price of the Full Self-Driving suite is no joke, after all, being listed at $8,000 on top of a vehicle’s cost. By offering subscriptions to features like Navigate on Autopilot with automatic lane changes, owners could gain access to advanced functions only as they are needed.

Elon Musk, for his part, has explained that ultimately, he still believes that purchasing the Full Self-Driving suite outright provides the most value to customers, as it is an investment that would pay off in the future. “I should say, it will still make sense to buy FSD as an option as in our view, buying FSD is an investment in the future. And we are confident that it is an investment that will pay off to the consumer – to the benefit of the consumer.” Musk said.

Tesla mobile app shows signs of upcoming FSD subscriptions
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