Tesla’s Full Self-Driving subscription program is coming “in a month or two,” CEO Elon Musk confirmed during the company’s Q4 2020 Earnings Call.
Full Self-Driving is Tesla’s current infrastructure for semi-autonomous driving. The company holds a reputation for having one of the most robust, intricate, complex, and accurate driver assistance programs in the automotive industry. For $10,000, Tesla owners can give their vehicle the ability to drive on highways, change lanes, Autopark, Summon, Autosteer on City Streets, and, later this year, have full Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control.
While Tesla maintains the FSD suite’s value is significantly higher than its current price due to its complexity and its relation to the future rollout of the Robotaxi fleet, the $10,000 price tag is too much for some to consider. Therefore, Tesla has pondered the possibility of an FSD Subscription instead.
Musk indicates that the subscription will come “in a month or two,” meaning that Tesla owners will be able to subscribe to the semi-autonomous driving functionality by the end of Q1 2021 if all goes according to plan.
Musk hinted at the possibility in late 2020 when he stated the subscription would begin “early next year.”
Absolutely. We will release FSD subscription early next year.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 20, 2020
The prospect of an FSD subscription has been in the works for nearly a year. In April 2020, Tesla hacker green found source code in his vehicle that indicated the electric automaker was preparing for an imminent rollout of the FSD subscription service. This ultimately never happened in 2020, but it is clear that Tesla has been thinking about it for some time.
After the source code was found by green, Tesla held its Q1 2020 Earnings Call just two days later. This resulted in CEO Elon Musk and CFO Zachary Kirkhorn’s introduction of a subscription program by the end of 2020.
there’s code for pay as you go subscription plan, has been for quite a while. Waiting for that eventual time when it will make sense I am sure 😉
— green (@greentheonly) April 28, 2020
At the time, the FSD suite was $7,000, $3,000 less than the suite’s current price. Ultimately, Tesla dealt with bigger problems in 2020, like figuring out manufacturing bottlenecks, securing land for a new production plant, and working on several vehicle updates that have revamped the look of the Model 3, Model S, and Model X. Battling the COVID-19 pandemic and supply constraints with battery cells also were two other items on Tesla’s plate.
Musk confirms that it will be a smarter financial decision to purchase Tesla’s FSD suite outright, but the company considered that some consumers might want to pay-as-they-go. Ultimately, the subscription plan has its validity, as owners have waited several months for more developments on when the FSD pay-as-you-go service would be activated.