There may come a time when Tesla’s Full Self-Driving suite becomes available as a pay-as-you-go subscription plan. While details about this possible service are still unknown at this point, the idea of FSD subscriptions could be a great way to make autonomous driving technologies mainstream.
In a recent conversation on Twitter, longtime EV hacker-enthusiast @greentheonly mentioned that Tesla actually has code for a pay-as-you-go subscription plan for Full Self-Driving. The code has reportedly been around in the company’s vehicles for a while, possibly just waiting for the right time to be rolled out.
Tesla’s Full Self-Driving suite is the company’s flagship software product for its electric vehicles. The system includes several advanced features that allow cars to operate practically on their own, such as Smart Summon and Navigate on Autopilot with automatic lane changes. There is no doubt that FSD includes a compelling set of features. The only thing that’s really preventing it from being adopted universally is its price, which commands a premium.
Tesla currently sells the Full Self-Driving suite as a $7,000 option when purchased with a new vehicle. That’s a significant amount, and considering that its flagship features are all still in the process of being refined, some Tesla buyers may find its purchase difficult to justify. This limits the adoption of the system to a significant degree, but with a subscription model, things become a bit different.
A pay-as-you-go subscription system for Full Self-Driving would provide access to Tesla’s most advanced features without requiring a huge upfront payment. The idea is extremely practical. Owners who love taking long road trips with their families, for example, could subscribe to FSD for the duration of their trip. This allows them to use features such as Navigate on Autopilot with automatic lane changes, which can make long drives much more comfortable and convenient. After their long trip, the Tesla owner can simply unsubscribe from FSD.
Elon Musk has actually responded positively to the idea of an FSD subscription in the past. Last April, it was suggested that FSD would make sense as a pay-as-you-go service since it’s an expensive option to purchase outright. The Tesla CEO stated that such a subscription model will be offered, but sometime in the future. “There will be that too, but economics will favor initial purchase,” Musk wrote.