Does this promise need another pinch of salt?
The latest controversy to hit EV market leader Tesla is once again news around its full self-driving technology. Tesla began rolling out a beta version of its advanced technology to a sect few customers back in October, and early in March, Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed on Twitter that FSD would launch for non-testers sometime this spring. By the end of March, Musk declared that the FSD beta would only be rolled out in April on cars such as the Model 3 and Model S. In the latest from Elon Musk's eccentric Twitter feed, it seems as though a date has been set. According to Musk, the tech will be rolled out next month, but later clarified that the May target is aspirational at best.
Musk says that the rollout of the FSD button depends on how well things go with the V9.0 update, but that FSD subscriptions would be going ahead. "Button timing of May is aspirational. It depends on how well the limited beta of V9.0 goes, but I would be surprised if (the) wide beta (aka button) is later than June. FSD subscription next month is a sure thing," he said. The subscription-based model could be a game-changer in the industry, as the technology will require a significant upfront cost in its early stages ($10,000 to be exact). The subscription-based model will allow a larger customer base access to the tech with a pay-as-you-go billing method making it much more affordable.
While features such as automatic driving for inner-city streets are yet to be released, existing features such as Smart Summon and Navigate on Autopilot with Auto Lane Changes have proven to be a big hit with Tesla customers. Tesla is yet to announce further details on its subscription program, but with the upcoming V9.0 update promising some big improvements, we could be weeks away from what other manufacturers are still dreaming of.
It's important to remember that despite the confusing name, Tesla's Full Self Driving capability is not fully autonomous. Still, we eagerly await May, or June, to see if it arrives this time.