Tesla offered a way for customers to sign up for its premium driver assistance package for $199 a month, rather than paying $10,000 up front.
It was marketed as Full self-driving capability or FSD. But the driver assistance system does not make Tesla electric cars safe to use without a vigilant driver behind the wheel.
One eligible owner shared a notice they received from Tesla, who said: “Full autonomous driving capability is now available as a monthly subscription.” Upgrade your Model Y for $199 to try features like autopilot navigation, auto lane change, auto stop, call-up, traffic light control and stop sign. The currently enabled features require driver supervision and do not make the vehicle self-driving.
Many owners lamented that they had to pay $1,500 to upgrade their Tesla PC to Hardware Version 3, or HW3, which the company first showcased at Autonomy Day in April 2019 in order to sign up.
Customers who previously purchased a Tesla Enhanced Advisor package, which it no longer sells, can subscribe to FSD for a lower price of $99 per month. But they may need to upgrade HW3.
In a subscription agreement via Tesla’s website, the electric car maker warns that:
- FSD features are subject to change and are limited by region and can only be used in Tesla vehicles equipped with the latest hardware and proven Autopilot technology.
- Drivers are responsible for tolls, parking, or other traffic violations that occur in a Tesla with FSD features.
- The company can increase the subscription price at any time. But it does give drivers one month’s advance notice before billing the new rate.
- Owners can cancel the FSD at any time. But the company wouldn’t prorate their monthly payments if they did.
- The company can suspend or cancel a driver’s FSD subscription if he uses the technology for anything unauthorized, inappropriate or for non-payment.
Tesla makes FSD available for $199 per month
All newer Tesla vehicles include a standard set of driver assistance features called Autopilot.
The Autopilot feature enables the Tesla to automatically steer, accelerate and brake within its lane.
The premium FSD package enables more detailed features such as Smart Recall, which allows the driver to call their car to come and pick it up from a parking lot or down a long driveway using a Tesla mobile app such as the remote control.
The company has also been promising that an Autosteer on city streets feature is coming soon to drivers with FSD. But the company lags far behind its original and even revised goals to offer Autosteer on city streets.
Musk promised to bid a driverless, hands-free Tesla in 2017. His company has yet to complete the task.
In 2019, Musk predicted that Tesla would make autonomous robot taxis in 2020 and cars without steering wheels or pedals in 2021.
In order to improve the patchy driver assistance features, Tesla is giving some owners early access to a beta version of the FSD.
Read also: Elon Musk admits that Cybertruck can fail
This turns thousands of ordinary drivers into software testers across US highways.
In recent months, Tesla told regulators that its FSD and FSD Beta technology amounted to a Tier 2 system, referring to the vehicle automation categories written by SAE.
As per SAE standards, drivers of a level 2 . vehicle are expected to under constant supervisionincluding by steering, braking or accelerating as needed to maintain safety.
Level 2 vehicles have features such as automated lane centering that works in conjunction with adaptive cruise control.
In contrast, a Level 4 vehicle may not need a steering wheel or pedals. It can operate as a driverless taxi in limited conditions such as fair weather.
Also Read: Tesla Releases FSD Version 9 Beta