Upgrading Your Old Tesla to FSD Is Now $500 Cheaper
Tesla has reduced the price of the ‘Full Self Driving’ upgrade required for older Tesla models to use the new FSD subscription service. Now it will cost $1,000 instead of $1,500.
This is likely in response to criticism from Tesla owners, who were asked to pay for the upgrade. After all, it used to be free, and full self-driving autopilot wouldn’t work without it.
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The main problem people had with Tesla charging for hardware upgrades was that they was originally said All Teslas had was the hardware needed for full self-driving work. The extra you had to pay for the full self-driving add-on was that you had access to the software that upgraded the autopilot system.
Then Tesla found that the full self-driving computers 2.0 and 2.5, which were installed in Tesla cars before 2019, were not sufficient to handle Tesla’s autonomous features. So it started using FSD Computer 3.0 from 2019 onwards, while the owners of older cars who had bought the FSD add-on got a free upgrade.
Of course Tesla is operating its FSD subscription a little differently, as it’s a non-committed $199 per month subscription, rather than a $10,000 lifetime purchase. So it’s asking drivers of older cars to pay for upgrades, despite the fact that the owners of those cars may have thought they already had the necessary FSD hardware already.
But it looks like the company has heard the criticism, and the Tesla app is now showing lower prices for FSD hardware upgrades. According to Elektrek, there are also reports that people who have paid the full $1,500 in the past few days are getting a $500 refund.
A price cut is the right idea for this situation, although it’s not going to please everyone. After all, Tesla promised that cars purchased between 2016 and 2019 will have the necessary hardware to take advantage of full self-driving as and when the features become available.
The company wasn’t able to keep that promise, and it’s only fair for people to be outraged that they should be asked to pay $1,000 to fix something that was completely out of their hands. It makes sense that they’d wish the automaker was originally promised.
Could this situation happen again?
I also wonder whether this situation may arise again in the future, especially since Tesla is eager to bring in subscription revenue. After all, Tesla’s “Full Self Driving” isn’t fully autonomous, and yet requires an attentive driver to be ready to take over at any time.
In fact, Tesla has reportedly told California regulators that its system offers Level 2 autonomy as defined by the Society of Automotive Engineering (SAE). “True” autonomy will not be available until level 4 or level 5, and there is still much development to be done before that level is reached.
Tesla may find itself in a similar situation in the future, where better and more powerful computer hardware will be needed before cars can drive more autonomously. This is an obvious downside to using terms like “full self-driving” when the cars themselves are not completely independent.
We don’t know what will happen in the future, and what obstacles automakers may face when trying to make their vehicles fully autonomous. Although Elon Musk has already admitted that autonomous driving is harder than he realized, and it’s not too unreasonable to question whether current Tesla Autopilot hardware would be up to the task.
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