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Need Help Understanding "Enhanced Autopilot" and "Full Self-Driving Capability" costs.

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Ed in Miami, Oct 21, 2016.

  1. Ed in Miami

    Ed in Miami New Member

    Oct 21, 2016
    I have been waiting for Autopilot 2.0 hardware to get a Tesla and now that it is offered I'm ready to buy (lease actually).

    I understand that:
    1. If I order a new car from this day forth the car will physically be equipped with all AP 2.0 hardware.
    2. I can choose to activate some or all of this hardware through selecting the "Enhanced Autopilot" and "Full Self-Driving Capability" options.
    3. I have an option to pay for those at a discount when I order or pay a premium for them at some time after delivery.
    4. "Enhanced Autopilot" will at first be significantly limited and that it is anticipated that significant functionality will be added by software update in December 2016.
    5. "Full Self-Driving Capability" will need a lot of software engineering and regulatory approval. Probably more a time frame of a year or two, not a month or two.
    My question is regarding the "Full Self-Driving Capability". It is offered (in a lease) as a $48/month option, or $4000 single payment after delivery. If the car will have the hardware anyway no matter what options you order, then what exactly would you be receiving for your $48 per month?

    This is particularly a big deal if you are leasing. Let's say, in the extreme example, 36 months later your lease is up and you turn in the car having never had any of the full self-driving features activated. I think you'd feel rightfully cheated.

    Say instead you decide to not pay $48 per month and wait for when some functionality is being offered. Let's say that is 2 years from now. Now are you going to pay $4000 to activate that functionality for the last 12 months of your lease?

    Am I missing something?

  2. sdorn

    sdorn Director of Awesome

    Oct 9, 2016
    I don't think you are missing anything.
    • Like x 1
  3. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

    Nov 10, 2011
    I'm still wrapping my head around leasing math, so hopefully someone else will chime in.

    For the buying case, the comparison is "pay $3000 now for a feature that should unlock in X months" or "pay $4000 for the feature near / after the it's unlocked".

    Let's assume the feature comes online exactly 1 year from now (October 2017). If you can make 33% on your money ($3000 -> $4000) in that year, then you're better of paying later.
    Let's assume the feature comes online exactly 2 years from now (October 2017). If you can make ~16% on your money ($3000 -> $4000) in those 2 years, then you're better of paying later.

    Also note: if you decide to opt for the "pay later" route, I would definitely try to get it in writing (email is probably the best you'll get) that Tesla will keep this option available for your car for at least 2 years. It's just a risk minimization strategy (that they won't pull the upgrade option later with a swift website update).
  4. msnow

    msnow Active Member

    Jul 14, 2015
    No you got it right and you will never see "full self driving capability" until Elon changes the definition of it.
    • Like x 1
  5. Dstrohl

    Dstrohl Member

    Oct 13, 2016
    Seattle Area
    The only thing that I would throw out in addition is that, nowhere (that I saw) did Tesla say that the cost to upgrade will ALWAYS be X,000, it would not at all surprise me to see the price for the full functionality dramatically go up once it is actually rolled out and approved.

    I think that many people would pay easily 10k for a real and complete self driving function along the lines of what that is *supposed* to eventually achieve.

    So, I suspect that the real choice is, pay 3k today and probably not get much for a year or two, or 10+k in a few years.

    (not saying that it makes the choice either way any better though.)
  6. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2013
    San Mateo, CA
    Ed, I think your analysis is essentially correct.

    If I was leasing a Tesla today I would not want the Full Self Driving Option.

    Do get AP, you will love the car!

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