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FSD: Good or bad for the Tesla brand?

TBrownTX

Active Member
Dec 25, 2020
1,148
1,348
Dallas, TX
Interested in what others think. While I think Tesla's push toward full self-drive is aspirational, and the work is important, is detracting from the brand.

Let me explain... My Tesla Model 3 is by far the best car I've ever owned. Safety, technology, power, performance, convenience, low cost of operation, low maintenance. However, I think the full self driving stuff is a bunch of hooey. People abuse the systems and they really don't add much in terms of value. In fact, it only distracts and detracts from the brand. All the other awesome stuff is passed over in the sensationalism around "full self driving".

What do you all think? Is the FSD stuff good for Tesla? Some would say "there is no such thing as bad press", thoughts?

"Until we get this solved, just drive your damn car."
 
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TomT

Technical Maven
Mar 24, 2014
712
735
NE Georgia
Interested in what others think. While I think Tesla's push toward full self-drive is aspirational, and the work is important, is detracting from the brand.
I think FSD is a distraction and a negative for the brand. Elon needs to shut up about it until there is actually something definitive available and released for all owners.
 
The Jalopnik article has an excellent point- the FSD is exactly backwards. It should be requiring me to continue to drive the damn car, but keep looking over my shoulder for anything out of the ordinary and take evasive action if I've missed it. Current FSD is the worst of all worlds, doing the easy parts, and making the driver inattentive. Waymo figured this out the very first year of testing, when they found their safety drivers completely disengaged. Humans have always been bad at monitoring, computers are always good at it.

For me, I think FSD is a negative. I agree with @TBrownTX that the car is really great. Super fun to drive, economical, interesting. For anyone that doesn't know about FSD when shopping for a car, it seems really interesting and compelling until you do your research and find out that it's all snake oil. Reaction- if they are lying about this, what else are they lying about?
 
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Judging by the varied opinions out there, FSD is clearly both good and bad for the brand. Personally, I fully support the effort. There will always be detractors and if Tesla listened to those folks and just packed it up every time they got some negative press, I think that would go against their core values and what has made (and continues to make) them a great company… push the envelope and never listen to those who say something cannot be done. We need people and companies who think in this way. Yes, Tesla has (perhaps many) flaws, but in general I still think they are a fantastic company.

By the way, I did purchase FSD (when it was much less expensive) and do think it needs a lot of work to justify its current hefty price tag.
 
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TBrownTX

Active Member
Dec 25, 2020
1,148
1,348
Dallas, TX
The Jalopnik article has an excellent point- the FSD is exactly backwards. It should be requiring me to continue to drive the damn car, but keep looking over my shoulder for anything out of the ordinary and take evasive action if I've missed it. Current FSD is the worst of all worlds, doing the easy parts, and making the driver inattentive. Waymo figured this out the very first year of testing, when they found their safety drivers completely disengaged. Humans have always been bad at monitoring, computers are always good at it.

Yes exactly! Tesla even markets Autopilot as all about the safety. Why not use it that way?

Tim
 
I think they made a mistake by selling FSD as opposed to enhanced autopilot. They've painted themselves in the corner by not only claiming that every car sold since 2016 is FSD capable but by taking large amounts of money from people for something that they might not ever be able to deliver. They've already had to upgrade all of the early cars where the owner bought FSD from HW2.5 to HW3, suppose they reach a point where they determine that HW3 isn't good enough and that they need HW4. Now instead of thousands of cars that will need upgrade there will be millions. Suppose they just can't make it work with the current cameras, what do they do then?. If they had only sold an enhanced autopilot package that consists of the current FSD capabilities they would have been fine, if all of the current cars can never move beyond level 2 no contract would have been broken. But they've been selling FSD with the promise of level 5 for as much as $10,000. There is a very good chance that they will never get there, what will they do if they can't and at what point will they have to admit that they can't do it? Elon has promised FSD by the end of the year on every year since 2016, can this go on forever.
 

TBrownTX

Active Member
Dec 25, 2020
1,148
1,348
Dallas, TX
I think they made a mistake by selling FSD as opposed to enhanced autopilot. They've painted themselves in the corner by not only claiming that every car sold since 2016 is FSD capable but by taking large amounts of money from people for something that they might not ever be able to deliver. They've already had to upgrade all of the early cars where the owner bought FSD from HW2.5 to HW3, suppose they reach a point where they determine that HW3 isn't good enough and that they need HW4. Now instead of thousands of cars that will need upgrade there will be millions. Suppose they just can't make it work with the current cameras, what do they do then?. If they had only sold an enhanced autopilot package that consists of the current FSD capabilities they would have been fine, if all of the current cars can never move beyond level 2 no contract would have been broken. But they've been selling FSD with the promise of level 5 for as much as $10,000. There is a very good chance that they will never get there, what will they do if they can't and at what point will they have to admit that they can't do it? Elon has promised FSD by the end of the year on every year since 2016, can this go on forever.

Two more weeks!
 
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FSD sells cars, and puts cash into Tesla's coffers, so that's a +, but I think it basically disappoints the majority of owners, so a -.
The fact that they still sell it, knowing it's half baked is the PT Barnum in EM coming out. The fact that TACC is one of the worst TACC I've driven is absolutely criminal. Heck, I can't even hand them $4,000 for EAP, so so it will do what it should do for no charge.
Ultimately I think Tesla may end up in deep hot water over FSD purchases, so overall, I say its a distraction.

and PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE EM, just STFU about the beta!
 

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
12,118
11,144
Visalia, CA
Two more weeks!
Exactly. The implementation of selling FSD is more like a TV shopping channel with all the hype that misleads people into thinking that it's a real functional FSD that you can summon it across the country.

It's so hyped up that people thought the upcoming "pure" vision that just came out would do it. It's so advanced that Tesla deleted the radar...

That hurts the brand!
 
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Right now FSD is a major drag on the brand. What's happened is they have made a huge marketing mistake. If they had sold their Autopilot capability as a "driver assist" feature just like every other car company is doing then they would have put themselves in way less trouble. The problem is that Musk is infatuated with being the first at everything. In this regard, he wants to be the first car company to achieve level 4 driving. And, frankly, in my opinion, the current hardware on the car (regardless of whatever AI they add to it, just won't be able to accomplish this. Not even close.) What they should be focusing on is the safety of their cars, which are the best in the world. Plus the carbon reducing capability of driving EVs. They should also be focusing on fixing the numerous problems that still exisit with just Autopilot use on limited access highways, of which there is still quite a lot. FSD is an unforced error and it's going to really bite them if they don't get their focus back on the main priorities.
 
I love my model 3. Best car ever and EAP is wonderful. But we will not buy another Tesla unless they bring EAP back or reduce the cost of FSD. We wanted a Model Y but $10k to fill the features we have now or downgrade functionality on a 3 year newer car is just dumb. Maybe when they release FSD, EAP will become the "Standard option". I'm not interested in FSD unless I can get in the backseat and tell it to take me somewhere. And it was obvious as anything in yesterday's show, that isn't happening anytime soon. If Tesla opens up Superchargers to other OEMs before making EAP available again or lowering FSD pricing, we will be looking hard at other brands.
 
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> The fact that TACC is one of the worst TACC I've driven is absolutely criminal.

Is it? I haven't used level 2 features of any other car manufacturer, but TACC/autosteer has been fantastic. The only feature it's missing is more robust driver attentiveness monitoring, allowing you to take the band off the wheel. Admittedly I have a radar-enabled Model Y, and have only experienced a few phantom breaks.
 
> The fact that TACC is one of the worst TACC I've driven is absolutely criminal.

Is it? I haven't used level 2 features of any other car manufacturer, but TACC/autosteer has been fantastic. The only feature it's missing is more robust driver attentiveness monitoring, allowing you to take the band off the wheel. Admittedly I have a radar-enabled Model Y, and have only experienced a few phantom breaks.
Agreed. TACC, autosteer and automatic lane changes (initiated by me via the lever) work beautifully, IMHO, and I would really miss all of those features if my next car didn't have them. As for NoAP, I have FSD (bought it when it was $3k) and I'm glad I have it because I'm a tech nerd and I love following the progress - but they've got a lot of work to do. The current asking price for either the full purchase or monthly subscription would be a definite no for me if I didn't already have it. I have faith they'll get there, but there's still really no time frame for when that might actually happen.

Honestly, I think if Tesla would just change the names of these features they'd save themselves a lot of headaches. "Autopilot" and "Full Self Driving" sound, to the average person who doesn't pay as much attention to these things, like much more capable systems than they actually are at this point. I firmly, 100% believe that I'm safer on the road using these features SO LONG AS I'M PAYING ATTENTION, The problem is that people assume they're safer with these features even if they're NOT paying attention...and we're just not there yet.
 

ItsNotAboutTheMoney

Well-Known Member
Jul 12, 2012
12,665
11,444
Maine
Musk's bullshit is bad for the brand. But at this point I think most of the bullshit damage is done.

The bigger issues are abysmal customer service, build quality and software decisions, that push otherwise enthusiastic customers away.

Still, the article is also bullshit. Advanced L2 is well-worth pursuing aggressively.
 

TBrownTX

Active Member
Dec 25, 2020
1,148
1,348
Dallas, TX
Musk's bullshit is bad for the brand. But at this point I think most of the bullshit damage is done.

The bigger issues are abysmal customer service, build quality and software decisions, that push otherwise enthusiastic customers away.

Still, the article is also bullshit. Advanced L2 is well-worth pursuing aggressively.

The article just shares another point of view, or opinion as it were. While I think the headline is misleading, the article itself makes some interesting points.

Tim
 

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