Tesla Full Self-Driving subscription gets definitive release date from Elon Musk

Credit: Tesla Owners Ontario/Twitter

Tesla’s Full Self-Driving subscriptions are definitely coming in May 2021. This was related and reiterated by CEO Elon Musk in recent comments on Twitter. 

While discussing Tesla’s AI prowess and the company’s efforts to improve its vision stack, Musk noted that the highly-anticipated FSD Button would hopefully be rolled out next month. When prodded about FSD subscriptions, Musk pointed out that the timeframe for the upcoming service was the same. 

Interestingly enough, the CEO actually reiterated this point in a later tweet. Explaining his previous points further, Musk clarified that the May target for the FSD Button is aspirational, as it depends on how well the FSD Beta’s V9.0 update gets received. This was not the case for FSD subscriptions, however, as Musk noted that a release next month is a “sure thing.” 

“Button timing of May is aspirational. It depends on how well the limited beta of V9.0 goes, but I would be surprised if (the) wide beta (aka button) is later than June. FSD subscription next month is a sure thing,” Musk wrote. 

The idea of a subscription-based model for Tesla’s Full Self-Driving suite is something that has been highly anticipated in the electric vehicle community. FSD, after all, costs $10,000 upfront, which could be considered steep for budget-conscious car buyers, especially as some key features like automatic driving for inner-city streets are yet to be released. 

With a subscription-based model, Tesla would be able to offer its best driver-assist system to a broader group of customers. This is partly due to the model’s practical nature, as FSD would only require payment when needed. Such a model could be extremely valuable for budget-conscious owners who tend to take long trips every holiday season, as features like Smart Summon and Navigate on Autopilot with Auto Lane Changes are known to make long trips easier. 

Tesla has not released any details about its upcoming FSD subscription program, though last September, a Model 3 owner and a member of the r/TeslaMotors subreddit was able to find references to subscription-based services in the mobile app. Noted Tesla owner-hacker @greentheonly has also found code for subscription plans in Tesla’s software. 

Even at its current state, Tesla’s Full Self-Driving suite is already one of the most advanced driver-assist systems in the market. And that’s the system in its pre-FSD Beta state. With this and the upcoming V9.0 update in mind, Tesla owners may very well be just a few weeks away from enjoying a system that transforms their vehicle into a computer on wheels that could handle most of its driving on its own. 

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Tesla Full Self-Driving subscription gets definitive release date from Elon Musk
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