Tesla has been bumping the price of its misleadingly named Full Self-Driving (FSD) option for a while now. As of Monday, it’s crept up to an eye-watering $10,000, and on a vehicle like a Model 3 or Model Y especially, that’s a hard pill to swallow if you want the functionality that FSD does offer. (Here’s an explainer on levels of autonomous driving.)
The solution, according to Tesla, is to offer FSD as a subscription service. This was initially brought up earlier this year, with a rollout planned for sometime in Q2. Tesla being Tesla, we weren’t entirely convinced that it would actually hit that target. However, according to Tesla’s “Master of Coin,” Zachary Kirkhorn, it’s on track to do just that.
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Kirkhorn confirmed this during Tesla’s Q1 2021 earnings call Monday, saying the company was waiting on just a couple of internal technical issues but that the feature should be launched very soon. Beyond that, he said that a subscription model for FSD would likely offer a great deal of recurring revenue potential, which seems likely.
Of course, we don’t know what Tesla would charge on a per month basis for the service, but we’d hazard a guess that it would likely represent a substantial chunk of an average buyer’s monthly car payment, given the outright purchase cost. Beyond that, how would Tesla adjust pricing as new features rolled out? Would it just jump up month to month, or would there be FSD subscription contracts?
We’d typically ask Tesla for answers to these burning questions, but because it doesn’t have a PR department, we will instead bribe the kids next door to ask their Ouija board for us. We’ll be sure to update this story if we get any spooky answers.
In any case, we’re very curious what Tesla’s take-rate for FSD is in general, but we’d be even more interested to see how those numbers would jibe with the take rate for the subscription service. What would you do as a Tesla customer? Would you buy FSD outright or get the subscription? Would you want FSD at all? Let us know in the comments.
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