It's a moneymaker. Elon Musk has suggested that a $7,000 investment in Tesla tech could be worth $100,000 someday.
The automaker’s CEO tweeted on Monday that the price of its “Full Self-Driving Capability” feature is set to rise from $7,000 to approximately $8,000 on July 1. (It is also available as an after-purchase upgrade)
The system offers nowhere near full self-driving capability today, but comes with the computer and all of the cameras Tesla says will be needed for that once the software catches up. Currently, it can steer a vehicle on the highway under certain circumstances under human supervision, stop or slow for traffic lights and stop signs on some roads, self-park and autonomously drive the car to your location from a space in a parking lot at low speeds.
Tesla's being operated with the system engaged have been involved in several high-profile accidents, and a number of consumer groups and safety advocates have called the "Full Self-Driving" name misleading.
Functionality has been added over time and raised the price on several previous occasions. The new capabilities are typically rolled out to a limited number of users in Beta form and further developed as they use it and supply data to Tesla. Musk has suggested that the car will be able to drive you on your route from home to work “most of the time with no interventions” by the end of the year, with true full self-driving somewhere on the horizon.
When it arrives, Musk has said Tesla owners will be able to register their cars in an autonomous ride-hailing service that will allow them to earn money when they’d otherwise be parked, and hopes it will launch in 2021.
If that happens and gets regulatory approval, Musk tweeted that the value of the feature “is probably somewhere in excess of $100,000,” and that the price will continue to go up over time. In other words: buy it now while it’s cheap.
Musk previously said on Tesla’s first-quarter earnings call that Full Self-Driving may also be offered through a subscription model by the end of 2020, but did not say how much it would cost, adding that company banks half of the $7,000 as revenue on its books and half as deferred revenue.