Once upon a time, it cost $5,000.
Tesla announced less than two weeks ago it had begun rolling out full self-driving (FSD) beta testing to a very select group of owners with verified driving safety records. This update enables new Autopilot features such as changing lanes on highways and automatic car parking. At the time FSD was not allowed to test on highways but rather for local roads only until the system's safety is proven.
Tesla's decision to begin this advanced testing was and still is somewhat controversial; the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration made clear it was watching the automaker's actions very carefully. Still, the attraction of FSD for Tesla owners is quite appealing even though drivers must still constantly monitor the road and keep their hands on the wheel when in use. Thing is, FSD is not cheap.
Not long ago it cost $8,000 and now Tesla CEO Elon Musk has announced on Twitter a $2,000 price increase for a new total cost of $10,000. In fact, the price of FSD has been steadily increasing over the past couple of years. In May 2019, for example, it increased from $5,000 to $6,000, and then again last November to $7,000. This past June it cost $8,000. If all goes to plan, Musk is aiming for a wide release by the end of the year.
There's also something else happening regarding FSD: Tesla has been accumulating significant amounts of data from those beta testers and it's already using that information to update the system last Friday.
"This update addressed several issues, resulting in perhaps ~1/3 fewer interventions," Musk wrote. "Many of the improvements consist of fixing silly bugs vs grand eureka moments. True for most beta releases in my experience." The world-famous CEO also said Tesla intends to roll out new updates every 5 to 10 10 days until the wider release later this year. As of this writing, there have not been any reports of FSD-related accidents. Autopilot, however, has been the source of some controversy.
Just last December, for example, a Tesla Model 3 slammed into a parked police car on the side of the highway with its Autopilot system engaged; the owner was checking his dog in the rear seat instead of paying attention to the road.