Tesla has started offering the Full Self-Driving (FSD) feature as a monthly subscription to its existing customers. This option was released by Tesla late last week with a detailed blog post by the automaker detailing every bits and pieces of information needed to understand the feature.
Tesla has named this option as the “Full Self-Driving Capability Subscription”. By looking at the Tesla online car configurator, it seems like customers with new car orders are not able to directly sign up for the monthly FSD subscription.
Tesla has set the price for FSD subscription at $199 monthly. Tesla owners who did not buy the Full Self-Driving advanced driver assistance feature at the time of vehicle purchase can subscribe to this monthly option via the Tesla mobile app or by logging into their Tesla account.
If your vehicle has Full Self-Driving computer 3.0 or above, plus Basic Autopilot or Enhanced Autopilot, you are eligible to subscribe to FSD capability. Check your Autopilot configuration from your vehicle’s touchscreen by selecting ‘Controls’ > ‘Software’ > ‘Additional Vehicle Information.’
Hardware upgrades to the Full Self-Driving computer are not included with Full Self-Driving capability subscriptions. To be eligible for FSD capability subscriptions, the FSD computer must be installed in your vehicle. To install the FSD computer, schedule an installation appointment from the Tesla app.
Your vehicle’s current Autopilot package of Basic Autopilot or Enhanced Autopilot will determine the FSD capability subscription price.
Basic Autopilot to FSD capability $199.00 per month
Enhanced Autopilot to FSD capability $99.00 per month
Enhanced Autopilot (EAP) is only available in select markets.
To subscribe, open the ‘Upgrades’ menu in your Tesla app or sign in to your Tesla Account. If you have multiple vehicles associated with your account, please be sure to select and subscribe to the correct vehicle.
You can cancel your subscription at any time through the Tesla app or your Tesla Account. Monthly subscription payments will not be prorated. After your cancellation is processed, you will continue to have FSD capability features for the remainder of the current billing period.Source: Tesla FSD subscription support page.
The short story of Enhanced Autopilot
Since Tesla is offering a reduced FSD subscription rate of $99 per month to Tesla owners having the Enhanced Autopilot package with their cars. It was an Autopilot feature Tesla had introduced a few years ago, it had fewer features compared to today’s FSD package, it was called EAP in short back in the day.
Many Tesla owners (mostly Model S and X) purchased the Enhanced Autopilot for $5,000 and later on Tesla reduced the price to $3,000. The constant shuffling of Autopilot pricing and the introduction of Full Self Driving created a lot of confusion among Tesla owners in 2019. Tesla resolved these issues by offering existing customers lower prices to purchase FSD or Enhanced Autopilot.
A large number of Enhanced Autopilot users still exist and since they have paid for features in the past, Tesla is offering them a reduced per month price.
The Full Self-Driving computer 3.0 requirement
Tesla unveiled the Full Self-Driving computer 3.0 at the Autonomy Day (Apr 22, 2019). At the event, Elon Musk also revealed that Mode S and Model X cars produced since a month before the Autonomy Day event and Model 3 cars produced 10 days before the event, all were equipped with this new supercomputer that is required for Full Self-Driving.
It means all Tesla cars produced before Mar 22, 2019 need to upgrade their Autopilot computer to this new chip also referred to as HW3 or Hardware 3.0.
Tesla is providing a free upgrade to the FSD computer 3.0 for owners who have purchased the Full Self-Driving package with their Tesla Model S, X, 3, or Y. Tesla had also these free upgrades in Europe last year, as we reported that my friend Steven Peeters got his car upgraded in Belgium back in Sep, 2020.
The monthly FSD subscription is great for owners who just want to try Full Self-Driving before going for a full $10,000 purchase or people who just prefer a small monthly payment and be able to cancel anytime. Tesla has listed detailed FAQs on its support website, a must read before opting for the monthly Full Self-Driving option.