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Elon Musk Confirms Tesla Full Self-Driving Subscriptions Coming Early 2021

You will also be able to buy FSD outright, and it seems Tesla would prefer you did that instead of paying a monthly subscription fee.

If you’ve been watching all the videos that we’ve posted showing the adventures of Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta program and you want to try it out for yourself, just have a bit more patience, as you will soon be able to. According to a tweet Elon Musk posted recently, FSD will be made available through a subscription model starting in early 2021, even though it was initially expected to make its public debut before the end of 2020.

So it’s been pushed back a few months, but then again, this isn’t the kind of service that a manufacturer could offer in an unfinished, buggy state. This delay does mean Tesla still has testing and bug fixing to do, and based on what we’ve seen in some videos, that’s definitely the case, although FSD is already undeniably pretty impressive, even if it seems like it’s still far from foolproof.

And while Elon Musk did confirm FSD would be available through a monthly subscription model, he seems to prefer it if you buy it outright (for $10,000) as a permanent option on your vehicle (that has HW 3.0). His exacts words were

‘ I should say, it will still make sense to buy FSD as an option as in our view, buying FSD is an investment in the future. And we are confident that it is an investment that will pay off to the consumer — to the benefit of the consumer. In my opinion, buying FSD option is something people will not regret doing. ‘

Pricing for the monthly subscription has not been announced yet (don’t expect it to be cheap), but it will surely work out to a lot less for those leasing their vehicle or looking to sell it soon. The subscription model also makes sense as a means for people to test out FSD before they commit to paying the full asking price to have it permanently enabled.

This article originally appeared on Inside EVs.

jboy210

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This is what I expected. Any project like self-drive needs a constant infusion of cash. The subscription model makes perfect sense for a software/hardware project. It's the same reason Adobe went with Creative Cloud subscription, Microsoft with Office 365, etc.

Also, it lowers the price for getting self-drive getting more people to buy it and get hooked, just like Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc.
 
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dlinsley

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I wonder how this will work if you aren't on HW3.0? Will outright purchase be the only path to upgrade, or will they offer a way to buy just the upgrade (say $2-3k) to add the subscription? The recent offerings to add summon/auto-park didn't upgrade the hardware.
 

Boeingpilot

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Well.... seeing as Tesla is notorious for removing things from cars if they are sold, maybe this is a better model. No more of the FSD is on car to disappear after the sale...
 

SageBrush

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I wonder how this will work if you aren't on HW3.0?
Ahh... I had not considered that.

The simple answer would be different subscription prices (and features) based on HW version in your car. I'll guess that the initial roll-out is only offered to HW 3 enabled cars.
 

AdamMacDon

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I wonder about the pricing, I'd be willing to pay around $25-$50 a month, but that is way too low by my back of the envelope calculations. Say $50/month = $600 a year. The average American keeps their car around 4 years. So $2400 cost over lifetime versus $8000. If it was $200 a month, I can't see many people jumping on it, at least until the robo taxi feature comes along and we can recoup that investment. Besides highway driving, I find FSD is very fatiguing, as it constantly needs intervention, I'm reminded of teaching a new driver where you must be extra alert for things you think they will miss, and be ready to intervene constantly. No less stressful than just driving myself. Obviously your mileage will vary, my city has some truly awful and boneheaded traffic patterns that cause much confusing amongst even the best drivers.
 
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Cal1

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Unfortunately what seems to be ignored here is the legality of use. It's one thing to get folks to sign up as testers waiving liability to Tesla for damages in an accident and quite another thing to just "release the hounds" on the general paid FSD population. Does anyone know of pending FSD legislation? I just don't see this piece coming to fruit anytime soon. Bulk acceptance to subscribe to something like this is hard to imagine. Takes way too much faith that nothing will go wrong. Without changes in legislation, you would assume subscriptions would be quite small. I paid for FSD but will not use it on a regular basis until I know who's responsible in a crash. Regardless who is at fault. Will Tesla be in court or me? If it's me I won't use it. Maybe I missed this and should have never jumped on the boat.

Also will Tesla call this complete even though I can't legally use it? Maybe I missed Tesla saying they will assume all liability if something happens when they call this done. I'm not trying to be sarcastic but a nation wide roll out seems filled with danger. I actually have the same problem with the whole robo-taxi thing but I assumed Tesla would be assuming liability in that scenario. Perhaps actual roll out of FSD will be the first real clarification of how Tesla will address this in the future.

I am a big time Tesla bull and own a few thousand shares but I've never believed or invested based on the robo-taxi concept. Ark Investments seems to think this will be great big time but I've not seen them address this issue. Perhaps I just missed it.
 
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ItsNotAboutTheMoney

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Unfortunately what seems to be ignored here is the legality of use. It's one thing to get folks to sign up as testers waiving liability to Tesla for damages in an accident and quite another thing to just "release the hounds" on the general paid FSD population. Does anyone know of pending FSD legislation? I just don't see this piece coming to fruit anytime soon. Bulk acceptance to subscribe to something like this is hard to imagine. Takes way too much faith that nothing will go wrong. Without changes in legislation, you would assume subscriptions would be quite small. I paid for FSD but will not use it on a regular basis until I know who's responsible in a crash. Regardless who is at fault. Will Tesla be in court or me? If it's me I won't use it. Maybe I missed this and should have never jumped on the boat.

Also will Tesla call this complete even though I can't legally use it? Maybe I missed Tesla saying they will assume all liability if something happens when they call this done. I'm not trying to be sarcastic but a nation wide roll out seems filled with danger. I actually have the same problem with the whole robo-taxi thing but I assumed Tesla would be assuming liability in that scenario. Perhaps actual roll out of FSD will be the first real clarification of how Tesla will address this in the future.

I am a big time Tesla bull and own a few thousand shares but I've never believed or invested based on the robo-taxi concept. Ark Investments seems to think this will be great big time but I've not seen them address this issue. Perhaps I just missed it.

FSD can legally be used because it is still Level 2. FSD just means that the car is able to perform the additional maneuvers needed for all driving.
 
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jboy210

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Unfortunately what seems to be ignored here is the legality of use. It's one thing to get folks to sign up as testers waiving liability to Tesla for damages in an accident and quite another thing to just "release the hounds" on the general paid FSD population. Does anyone know of pending FSD legislation? I just don't see this piece coming to fruit anytime soon. Bulk acceptance to subscribe to something like this is hard to imagine. Takes way too much faith that nothing will go wrong. Without changes in legislation, you would assume subscriptions would be quite small. I paid for FSD but will not use it on a regular basis until I know who's responsible in a crash. Regardless who is at fault. Will Tesla be in court or me? If it's me I won't use it. Maybe I missed this and should have never jumped on the boat.

Also will Tesla call this complete even though I can't legally use it? Maybe I missed Tesla saying they will assume all liability if something happens when they call this done. I'm not trying to be sarcastic but a nation wide roll out seems filled with danger. I actually have the same problem with the whole robo-taxi thing but I assumed Tesla would be assuming liability in that scenario. Perhaps actual roll out of FSD will be the first real clarification of how Tesla will address this in the future.

I am a big time Tesla bull and own a few thousand shares but I've never believed or invested based on the robo-taxi concept. Ark Investments seems to think this will be great big time but I've not seen them address this issue. Perhaps I just missed it.

Not sure what has changed from the liability standpoint because of changing to a subscription model. I don't think anything has changed with the driver being ultimately responsible for the safe operation of the car.

The tesla team will never be fully finished with it because like every other piece of software it is never fully done. And this especially true for Machine Learning models driven by data the fleet encounters via millions of miles of driving a year.
 

AdamMacDon

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Unfortunately what seems to be ignored here is the legality of use. It's one thing to get folks to sign up as testers waiving liability to Tesla for damages in an accident and quite another thing to just "release the hounds" on the general paid FSD population. Does anyone know of pending FSD legislation? I just don't see this piece coming to fruit anytime soon. Bulk acceptance to subscribe to something like this is hard to imagine. Takes way too much faith that nothing will go wrong. Without changes in legislation, you would assume subscriptions would be quite small. I paid for FSD but will not use it on a regular basis until I know who's responsible in a crash. Regardless who is at fault. Will Tesla be in court or me? If it's me I won't use it. Maybe I missed this and should have never jumped on the boat.

Also will Tesla call this complete even though I can't legally use it? Maybe I missed Tesla saying they will assume all liability if something happens when they call this done. I'm not trying to be sarcastic but a nation wide roll out seems filled with danger. I actually have the same problem with the whole robo-taxi thing but I assumed Tesla would be assuming liability in that scenario. Perhaps actual roll out of FSD will be the first real clarification of how Tesla will address this in the future.

I am a big time Tesla bull and own a few thousand shares but I've never believed or invested based on the robo-taxi concept. Ark Investments seems to think this will be great big time but I've not seen them address this issue. Perhaps I just missed it.
There is going to be a massive uphill battle regarding legislation. Many people seem to have in their minds that self driving cars should only be allowed when they have a zero percent chance of crashing. This is quite short sighted and frankly a ridiculous standard. For example, horses were replaced by cars long before cars had a zero percent fatality rate. If anything, cars are more dangerous. But in a world where our coffee cups must say "hot" on them, and lawsuits fly around at the drop of a pin, something like robo taxi seems far fetched. Quite unfortunate, and really shows how much we have stagnated since the 1970's.

I don't think Tesla being expected to cover the costs of an accident is realistic either. If they were covering the cost of the crashes AND making the cars, what exactly do you do? Pony up tens of thousands they could easily just get from an investor? Clean the cars? I think the same way a taxi medallion owner has to deal with the risk one of his car gets crashed while driven on lease, you must also accept this is a possibility and get the appropriate insurance, when available.

It is indeed quite the conundrum.
 

Cal1

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Not when I turn over complete control of the vehicle. We can certainly play games with this but I'm pretty sure when they start selling this as complete, things will change. The only reason Tesla has not lost big time in previous lawsuits for accidents while using advance AP features is that software clearly states it's a "beta" version and you agree to take liability if something goes wrong. I guess they can release it if they offer the subscription model as a "beta version" with the previous buttons agreeing to your liability. Can they just sell this this way forever?
 

Snuffysasa

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There is going to be a massive uphill battle regarding legislation. Many people seem to have in their minds that self driving cars should only be allowed when they have a zero percent chance of crashing.

This will not be an issue, because FSD wide release is not a self driving car and is ADAS. And Tesla has no plans to launch something other than ADAS in the coming years
 

ItsNotAboutTheMoney

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Not when I turn over complete control of the vehicle. We can certainly play games with this but I'm pretty sure when they start selling this as complete, things will change. The only reason Tesla has not lost big time in previous lawsuits for accidents while using advance AP features is that software clearly states it's a "beta" version and you agree to take liability if something goes wrong. I guess they can release it if they offer the subscription model as a "beta version" with the previous buttons agreeing to your liability. Can they just sell this this way forever?

FSD is still beta, and you are still in control of the vehicle. It's just that when it's working well, you're not giving it instructions by pressing pedals or turning a wheel.
 

SageBrush

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I'd be willing to pay around $25-$50 a month, but that is way too low by my back of the envelope calculations.
I agree -- waay too low.

My WAG is that rental will be 3-4x the cost of purchase.
If purchase is 10k USD for 15 year car lifetime the monthly is ~ $55. Rental would then be ~ $200 a month.

I personally am not an FSD fan for my routine driving but I would happily pay $200 to have AP on an extended road trip.
 
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AdamMacDon

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Not when I turn over complete control of the vehicle. We can certainly play games with this but I'm pretty sure when they start selling this as complete, things will change. The only reason Tesla has not lost big time in previous lawsuits for accidents while using advance AP features is that software clearly states it's a "beta" version and you agree to take liability if something goes wrong. I guess they can release it if they offer the subscription model as a "beta version" with the previous buttons agreeing to your liability. Can they just sell this this way forever?
But then what role do you play in a robo taxi business model? I know you said you are not a big believer, but imagine if it were to happen, what reason Tesla would have to guarantee the liability costs would be covered, but still let you reap the rewards for essentially zero risk. Even if the car could "only" net $50 per day, the break even point would be less than 3 years. So, you are essentially taking no risk to get a great reward (a free car and daily cash flow). The only downside is perhaps you would have to clean up after all the messy passengers. A much smarter plan in this case, if the tech (and legislation) were present, would just be to cut you out and go straight to what Uber is trying to do. If Tesla assumes all the liability for incidents while operating in FSD, then those costs are just going to be passed on to consumers, which is in direct conflict with the whole mission of accelerating sustainable transportation.

This will not be an issue, because FSD wide release is not a self driving car and is ADAS. And Tesla has no plans to launch something other than ADAS in the coming years
I'm sorry, I must have missed the point where I mentioned timelines. This could be 100 years in the future for all I know. But looking at the current trends, it is fairly obvious this is a when, not an if, and is worth discussing. Debating timelines is a fairly pointless game of hypotheticals, so I won't enter that arena. Elon has been very clear in stating his plans for changing the paradigm of car ownership. He does operate on a very unrealistic schedule, but one day it will happen.

I agree -- waay too low.

My WAG is that rental will be 3-4x the cost of purchase.
If purchase is 10k USD for 15 year car lifetime the monthly is ~ $55. Rental would then be ~ $200 a month.

I personally am not an FSD fan for my routine driving but I would happily pay $200 to have AP on an extended road trip.
The only problem with a 15 year timeline is assuming the average person keeps their car for 15 years, a big assumption since only 7.5% of people fall into this category: source. Lets be generous and say the average goes to 8 years as EV's are perhaps more reliable. Now that number is roughly $400 a month. Even on a massive road trip, I would hesitate to spend this. If I go on a roadtrip, usually I am okay with driving, and all new Tesla's have basic AP already. So in terms of problem solving, is driving your sleek electric sports car really a $400 a month problem to you? Personally I love driving it, and FSD's main appeal lies in the future where it can drive with me asleep or perhaps not even in the car at all. Until then, it's really just a cool tech demo with limited value. I don't think I'm alone in this thought, and I can't imagine many people lining up to pay hundreds of dollars a month for the current offerings. The pain point isn't there.
 

SageBrush

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The only problem with a 15 year timeline is assuming the average person keeps their car for 15 years, a big assumption since only 7.5% of people fall into this category: source. Lets be generous and say the average goes to 8 years as EV's are perhaps more reliable.
The difference between us is that I am presuming a private sale where the value of FSD is preserved while you appear to be presuming a resale back to Tesla where the FSD value is heavilly discounted in proportion to the uptake by the next buyer
 

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