Tesla plans to increase the price of its branded "full self-driving" beta software, the advanced driver assistance system that CEO Elon Musk has said will mean the difference between the company "being worth a lot of money or worth basically zero.”
Tesla vehicles today come standard with its driver assistance system called Autopilot. For an additional $12,000, owners can buy FSD -- a feature that Musk has repeatedly promised will one day deliver full autonomous driving capabilities. FSD includes the parking feature Summon as well as Navigate on Autopilot, an active guidance system that navigates a car from a highway on-ramp to off-ramp, including interchanges, making lane changes and recognizing traffic controls. It is now operational on city streets.
Tesla vehicles, even those equipped with Full Self Driving, or FSD as it is often branded, are not self-driving. All of these capabilities require the human driver to maintain attention and take control when needed.
Musk said Wednesday that Tesla has deployed FSD with city navigation capabilities to more than 100,000 owners to date. That's the same number Musk gave during its first-quarter earnings call, suggesting adoption has not grown.
The newest version, 10.13, includes updates like improved unprotected left turns, animal detection, speed limit accuracy and pedestrian and cyclist velocity error.
Musk did not provide guidance as to how much the price will increase, but he did say it is currently "ridiculously cheap."
Tesla has consistently increased the price of FSD over the years, most recently in January 2022, when the automaker hiked the cost from a one-time payment of $10,000 to $12,000. Musk didn't say if Tesla would increase the cost of the monthly subscription, which is currently priced at $199 per month.
Musk said the price increase would happen before Tesla goes to "wide beta," which means that anyone who wants to use the beta software "with all the caveats associated with that" can use it.
"The value of FSD is extremely high and not well understood by most people," said Musk. "It is basically currently ridiculously cheap, assuming FSD materializes, which it will."
Musk also said Tesla would "solve full self-driving" by the end of this year, but he didn't explain what solving FSD actually means.
It could mean getting to Level 4 autonomy, which is when the car can handle driving in most circumstances within certain conditions without needing a human to intervene. That steep goal of getting to Level 4 autonomy might be even more of a reach for Tesla after the company recently lost its top AI architect Andrej Karpathy.