Tesla’s ‘fully self-driving’ isn’t worth $15,000, say many buyers

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Tesla pricing for the features it calls “Full Autonomous Driving” increased again. This time around, it’s $15,000, making it an unusually expensive option for a car.

“Following the broad release of FSD Beta 10.69.2, the price of FSD will rise to $15,000 in North America on September 5th,” said Musk. murmured last month.

The release of the new software version has been postponed to Monday “probably until the weekend.”We need to polish it up a bit more,” Musk said. Saidbut the price increase took effect.

Some Tesla owners who bought an earlier unfinished version of the same “fully self-driving” software for much less, now selling for $15,000, warn that the new price doesn’t make sense to most buyers. doing.

CNN Business spoke to 13 people who own a car with a “fully self-driving” beta, and an overwhelming majority of 11 said they don’t feel it’s worth $15,000. rice field. These drivers say their software has improved, but not enough to justify the price. They explain that while using “fully self-driving” you may need to pay more attention than when driving yourself. More than 100,000 of his Tesla cars with this feature have been sold.

Tesla buyers can choose to purchase “fully self-driving” outright when they buy a car, or pay a monthly subscription fee to use the feature. Many of the Tesla drivers who spoke to CNN Business suggested that if they were buying a Tesla today, they would opt for the “fully self-driving” monthly subscription fee, which would still cost $199 per month. His Enhanced Autopilot is an affordable combination of features like automatic parking and auto lane changing on highways, but it’s not an unfinished or incomplete product.

The trio told CNN Business that they feel “full self-driving” is worth the high price. They personally enjoy testing new technology and are excited about the promise of what “fully automated driving” will eventually look like.

“I really admire the optimism of all these people,” said Brian Moody, executive editor of online car marketplace AutoTrader.com, despite years of delays in “fully self-driving cars.” Talked about people who believe they will soon be able to handle all driving responsibilities. “I want to be like that too.”

Moody told CNN Business that “full self-driving” is particularly expensive compared to other available driver-assist packages such as GM’s SuperCruise and Nissan ProPilot Assist. SuperCruise generally costs about $2,500, plus he has a monthly connection fee of $25 after the third year. ProPilot Assist can go below $2,000 in some cases.

The promised features of these driver assistance packages are more modest. While steering to catch up with traffic on some highways, Musk says “fully self-driving” will one day allow Tesla owners to: Operate your vehicle as a robotaxi There is no need for a human to hold the steering wheel.

It’s not unheard of for options to hit the $10,000 threshold, but such expensive options typically include an array of add-ons such as adaptive suspension, engine upgrades and adaptive headlights.

Moody said he expects consumers to pay for a monthly subscription for “fully self-driving” rather than paying $15,000 to promise future possibilities for the feature.

Four years ago, Wisam Al-Rawi bought a Tesla with driver assistance software that the company called “fully self-driving.” He says he was willing to pay a $2,500 premium for “fully self-driving cars” in the hope that Tesla will one day drive itself. But enough is enough for his Al-Rawi, who was frustrated last month by software flaws. He asked Tesla to remove it.

The California resident is surprised Tesla has raised the price of a “fully self-driving” car to $15,000, even though it’s below automakers’ expectations.

“I’m not going to pay $10,000,” Al-Rawi told CNN Business. “They overpromised like crazy.”

But Tesla feels that the feature, which the company says is still in testing (or “beta”) despite being widely released, is worth far more than the price it’s selling for now. .

“FSD prices will continue to rise as the software gains regulatory approval and approaches full self-driving capabilities,” said Musk. I have written on Twitter in 2020.[At] At that point, the FSD will likely be worth over $100,000. ”

But “fully self-driving” was a far cry from what we heard from Musk, who claimed every year from 2015 to 2022 that self-driving Tesla cars were probably a year or two away.

Al-Rawi said using the “fully self-driving” beta was stressful. Because the software sometimes hits a curb or tries to drive on the wrong side of the road. His car would sometimes brake unexpectedly, causing road rage from others.

“He promised your car would be a taxi, which would generate income,” Al-Rawi said. “Unfortunately, none of this happened.”

Al-Rawi still believes Tesla’s driver assistance features are better than any other automaker. He calls the automaker’s lane keeping feature “fantastic.” Al-Rawi’s problem was the “fully self-driving” feature, which uses steering, brakes and accelerator to navigate local roads.

Al-Rawi isn’t the only one worried about Tesla and unexpected braking. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which regulates motor vehicles, launched an investigation in February after hundreds of complaints of unexpected braking.

However, many Tesla owners didn’t regret the purchase due to the limitations of “fully self-driving”.

Logan Rossignol, a Tesla “fully self-driving” beta tester, told CNN Business: “You’re still paying for the promise, and what it’s worth to you is up to you.”

Rossignol is a software developer and enjoys experimenting with technology, so he feels the investment is worth it. “Full Autonomous Driving” is changed periodically by over-the-air software updates. Drivers may wake up in the morning to test and try new versions of technology.

Sunny Gulati, who said he paid $8,000 for “fully self-driving cars,” says he takes an “innate pleasure” watching his Tesla try to navigate the roads. He said he no longer envy other cars on the road. Your system doesn’t have to be perfect.

One of the reasons he justified the purchase of “fully self-driving cars” is that one day it will make a second car obsolete. Gulati said he couldn’t afford to pay $15,000 for “fully self-driving” and would opt for a monthly fee if he bought it now.

Don Burke purchased a Model S in 2019.

A Virginia resident said he had a form of muscular dystrophy. His legs are weak. He will be in a wheelchair in a few years.

Burke spoke to CNN Business during his months-long US road trip.

He drives 600 miles a day and says Tesla’s driver-assist technology has made his driving much safer. He says he feels humans are terrible drivers, pointing to the many deaths on the roads today, and believes machines will do better.

Burke said the $15,000 price tag for a “fully self-driving” car would be worth it for him if he were to reenter Tesla’s market.

“I love being mobile,” says Burke. “I really want a machine I can own that I can take to where I need to be when I am in a wheelchair.”

Source: www.cnn.com

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