Tesla Unveils Full Self-Driving Capability Subscription, with Hardware/Software Requirements

Jul 19, 2021   

Tesla has unveiled a Full Self-Driving subscription for owners with compatible hardware; however, there are unforeseen caveats.

Pricing is $199/month, or $99/month for owners that already have Enhanced Autopilot.

Full Self-Driving Capability features include Navigate on Autopilot, Auto Lane Change, Auto Park, Summon, and Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control. Autonomous driving on city streets is expected to be added later this year.

Base Autopilot is required to be able to start a Full Self-Driving Capability subscription. While new Tesla’s have included Autopilot since mid-2019, the cost of this feature alone is $3,000.

Tesla’s also have to be equipped with the latest Full Self-Driving Computer (Hardware 3.0) to be eligible for a subscription. This is an additional $1,500 cost and would have to be scheduled for installation at a Tesla service center.

Purchasing Full Self-Driving Capability outright at its current market price of $10,000 would include the installation of Hardware 3.0 at no additional cost. It should be noted that Tesla’s built since mid-2019 already include the Full Self-Driving Computer.

A new “Subscribe” tab has been added to the Tesla app, where eligible owners can add the current functionality of Full Self Driving Capability at a cost of $99-$199/month.

Real Talk

A subscription option is a great alternative for those that want the test the feature set of Full Self-Driving Capability without committing to an outright purchase, especially for those that already have Enhanced Autopilot — while many features are already available in Enhanced Autopilot, the reduced price adds value for the future, especially for used Tesla’s with the option.

We were spot-on as well with our price prediction of $199/month.

What’s unexpected is the added cost of requiring Autopilot, and even more surprising and a cause of contention for current owners is the hardware cost of the Full Self-Driving Computer.

Owners have relayed concerns that they were told that all Tesla’s built since 2016 already have all of the hardware necessary for Full Self-Driving. While Tesla was including the Hardware 3.0 upgrade at no additional cost to owners that purchased the Full Self-Driving option, the installation cost for subscriptions (while we’re confident it isn’t unnecessarily marked up) is going to cause headaches for the automaker. A potential solution may be including the upgrade with a subscription commitment. Otherwise newer Tesla’s don’t have to worry about the requirements as they already include Autopilot and the Full Self-Driving Computer.

The value with the hardware cost factored in is another matter, since the outright cost of Full Self-Driving compares well in less than four years — and also purchasing it as an option adds resale value on the used market. This subscription is better-suited as a trial period, or for occasional use.

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