Marketed as Full Self-Driving Capability (or FSD), the Driver Assistance System does not make Tesla’s electric vehicles safe for use without a careful driver behind the wheel.
An eligible owner shared a notice he received from Tesla on Friday with CNBC, which said:
“Full autonomous driving capability is now available as a monthly subscription. Upgrade your Model Y… Currently enabled features require active driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous. “
While this person’s Tesla Model Y had all of the components needed to start an FSD subscription, other owners lamented that they would have to pay $ 1,500 to upgrade their Tesla’s computer to Hardware version 3, or HW3, which the company first presented at its Autonomy Day event. in April 2019 to subscribe.
Customers who have previously purchased Tesla’s Enhanced Autopilot package, which it no longer sells, can subscribe to FSD for a lower price of $ 99 per month, but may require the HW3 upgrade.
In a subscription agreement on Tesla’s website, electric vehicle maker Elon Musk warns that, among other things:
- FSD features are “subject to change, limited by region” and can only be used on Tesla vehicles with newer hardware and installed autopilot technology.
- Drivers are responsible for tolls, parking, or other traffic violations that occur in a Tesla that operates with FSD features enabled.
- Tesla can increase the price of a subscription at any time, but will give drivers a month’s notice before charging them at a new rate.
- Homeowners can cancel FSD at any time, but the company will not pro-rate their monthly payment if they do.
- Tesla can suspend or cancel a driver’s FSD subscription if they use the technology, “for anything not authorized or inappropriate” or for non-payment.
All newer Tesla models include a standard set of driver assistance functions called Autopilot. Autopilot or standard features allow a Tesla to “steer, accelerate and brake automatically in its lane,” according to Tesla’s website.
The premium FSD package allows for more elaborate features like Smart Summon, which allows a driver to call their Tesla to pick it up across a parking lot or in a long driveway using the Tesla mobile app as a remote control.
Tesla also promised that a feature called “Autosteer on city streets” would soon be available for drivers with FSD. But the company is far from its original and even revised goals of providing a sophisticated “robotaxi”.
Musk has promised a driverless and driverless demonstration of Tesla in 2017. His company has yet to complete this mission. In 2019, Musk predicted that Tesla would make autonomous robotaxis in 2020 and cars without steering wheels and pedals in 2021.
In a first quarter earnings call, Tesla CFO Zachary Kirkhorn said: “If you look at the size of our fleet and the number of customers who have not purchased FSD in advance or in rental and maybe want to experiment with FSD, this is a great option for them. He added, “As the portfolio of subscribing customers grows, it becomes a pretty solid business for us over time. “
To refine unfinished driver assistance features, Tesla is giving some owners early access to a beta of FSD – effectively turning thousands of daily drivers into software testers on public roads in the United States
Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for additional information, including whether FSD subscribers will be eligible to participate in the FSD Beta program.
In recent months, as CNBC previously reported, Tesla has also told regulators at the California DMV and NHTSA that its FSD and FSD Beta technology equates to a “level 2” system – a reference to the categories of vehicle automation written by a professional association for engineers, SAE International.
According to SAE standards, last updated in May 2021, operators of a Level 2 vehicle are expected to “keep an eye on it”, including by steering, braking or accelerating “as needed for maintain security ”. Level 2 vehicles have features such as automated lane centering which works in conjunction with adaptive cruise control. In contrast, a Level 4 vehicle may not need a steering wheel or pedals and can function as a local driverless taxi in limited conditions such as good weather.