Had to make an account as i really don't like the ethics and financials of charging 8k$ for Autopilot. Tesla and Elon Musk must ask a few questions. 1. Is it ethical to severely restrict access to a safety feature? 1. Can we make it available to everybody without losing revenue and margins? 3. Are there any additional upsides or downsides when including the feature in the base model. 1. Tesla is using Autopilot as a option aimed at increasing margins and by grossly overpricing it, Tesla severely limits access to it. Elon Musk , Google and pretty much anyone with a clue are clear, the robot increases safety. For level 1 and 2 one can argue that it is a convenience feature but level 3 to 5 are absolutely a safety feature. A prohibitive price for a safety feature is clearly unethical, especially when they could do better with little effort - even if it would have been difficult, Tesla isn't afraid of difficult tasks.That's what sets them apart from everybody else. From an ethics perspective Tesla should include the feature by default and make every effort they can to encourage customers to use it. It's safer for the driver and every other participant in the traffic. 2. Model 3 is a very costly car, even in the US it is a stretch to call it affordable.Elsewhere 35k$ means even more. Sure, folks will take advantage of gov grants, maybe do the math for gas savings and ,hopefully, lower maintenance and repair costs and , best case scenario, conclude that Model 3 is getting closer to a 20k$ ICE car. When you buy a 20k$ car, adding 8k$ is more than too much.So it would be reasonable to conclude that only some 10-20$ of the global Model 3 orders will include Autopilot. Limiting access like this when everybody has the hardware only increases the pricing for the few that can afford to buy it. If only 10-20% of buyers can afford the feature at 8k$, it would mean that to include the feature in the base model, thus allowing access to every buyer, would lead to a price increase of 800 to 1600$ to be able to maintain the same overall revenue. Fine tuning overall costs and adjusting pricing for other options could allow for the feature to be included in the base model without a price increase while keeping Tesla's revenues at the same levels.- do remember that almost any feature in the base model of any car is a CHOICE made by the car maker. the car maker decides what is important enough to make it in the base model and , in this case, despite claiming that it is a crucial safety feature, Tesla has decided not to include it in the base model. It's like charging 2k$ to enable the airbags and , as i have explained, it's not something they need to do, it's something they chose to do. 3. Upsides: - including it in the base price boosts sales and is great marketing - keeping the drivers alive helps a bit as dead people don't spend money - provides more differentiation and increases customer retention - for car as a service to ramp fast, people need to trust the robot. Allowing more consumers to experience autonomous features ahead of such a service, speeds up the adoption for car as a service and that's worth tens of billions, maybe hundreds over the next 10-15 years - if in the early stages of car as a service owners also send their cars to earn money, fewer cars with the feature leads to fewer cars available for the service and the entire point of this, from Tesla's perspective, is to enable the growth of the service much quicker and without the CAPEX required for their own fleet. - it's easier to argue that it's a crucial safety feature (and accuse the press of killing people ) if you don't charge for Autopilot more than what 80% of the people on this planet earn in a year - autopilot would also lead to lower under warranty costs for Tesla as the robot is a smoother operator (lol) - customers are more likely to enable data sharing Downsides: With more autonomous cars ,negative publicity and legal complications would increase if the system is less than stellar. For X and S the rate of adoption will be higher but it's also possible that the price of Autopilot will be lower for Model 3 and if that's true, the math would become even easier. It's also possible that including the Autopilot feature in the base price might require a slight increase in price but adding 500$ to the base price this late in the game when the design is finalized and it's harder to cut costs elsewhere but would be something that the vast majority of customers would welcome and the ethics would be on Tesla's side- as long as it is a minimal increase. It's easy to do things like everybody else without giving it any thought at all but that doesn't mean that it is good business or .. decent. However, Tesla has the opportunity to do better here. Offer a better car, a safer car to every customer while making more money and paving the way for a fast adoption for a car as a service offering. Tesla is all about doing it better than others and finding ways to do so.It's easy to do much better here and not doing better kills people. PS: I understand that most people here will feel the need to defend Tesla's current position at any cost instead of trying to understand my point of view and maybe accepting that Tesla could do better, much better. Defending the status quo without seriously considering a better way to do something is almost always a bad idea. Tesla exists only because a few people decided to build a different car , a better car and rejected the status quo. That was much harder than this, this would be easy.