Full Self-Driving Subscription Launching in the Next Two Months

Jan 28, 2021   

We’ve received further confirmation that a Full Self-Driving subscription will be launching within the next two months.

The Q4 earnings call yesterday gave us insight into the progress of Full Self-Driving, which has been “improving rapidly.” Each new release of the Beta program, which is currently ongoing for those in the Early Access program, indicates that confidence is beginning to be instilled in the feature as betas testers have been able to travel with no interventions necessary more often. This is occurring even on routes that weren’t previously tested.

Tesla is targeting a 99.99% rate for reliability, which has to be 2-3x better than a human driver. Elon expects this goal to be met, and for Level 5 autonomy to be possible later this year.

Full Self-Driving Capability is currently available as an option that costs $10,000 as a one-time purchase. It adds Navigate on Autopilot, Summon, Autopark, Auto Lane Change, Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control. Autosteer on city streets was announced as a feature that will be available later this year.

It was confirmed that Tesla has no plans to add the ability for owners to transfer Full Self-Driving from their current Tesla to a new vehicle, so a subscription may make more sense for some customers as opposed to purchasing the feature outright. Although we should note that the value of Full Self-Driving is factored in by buyers when privately selling a used Tesla.

A Full Self-Driving subscription is expected to be added and managed via the Tesla app.

Real Talk

It should be emphasized that at this time Full Self-Driving doesn’t equate to fully autonomous driving. There are numerous aforementioned features that are pieces of a puzzle that hasn’t yet been fully put together, although it’s not possible yet to simply input a destination and have the vehicle travel to that point. Which may make launch of a subscription confusing to some consumers, although we think most customers will see the value once they have a chance to test what’s currently available.

The best part about a subscription is that customers can choose to subscribe or cancel at any time. Once those new features are added that eventually enable Level 5 autonomy subscribers will automatically receive them over-the-air, or owners will be given the option to subscribe.

We think this makes Tesla’s vehicles an even better value, since while Tesla is making almost every other feature standard across its lineup consumers will still be able to add Full Self-Driving in a capacity that makes sense to them, with the added flexibility of being able to use the feature as needed.

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