In a few weeks, Tesla buyers will have to pay more for an option that is not yet fully functional, but CEO Elon Musk The promises will one day provide complete autonomous driving capabilities.
Musk tweeted On Saturday, the price of his self-driving option "will increase significantly over time" starting May 1st.
Tesla vehicles are not autonomous. Musk promised that advanced driver assistance capabilities on Tesla vehicles would continue to improve until this high end of automation was finally achieved.
Musk did not provide a specific figure, but in response to a question on Twitter, he said the increase would be "pretty much" around $ 3,000. Complete self-driving is currently $ 5,000.
Rising prices come amidst a number of notable changes and events, including the upcoming Investor Independence Day on April 22, which will explain and introduce Tesla's self-driving technology. On Thursday, Tesla announced that Autopilot, its advanced driver assistance system combining adaptive cruise control and lane guidance, is now a standard feature.
The price of vehicles equipped with the standard autopilot is higher (although it should be noted that this standard functionality is lower than the previous cost of the option). Previously, buyers had to pay $ 3,000 for the option and the examples given by Tesla suggest savings of $ 500.
Tesla also announced that he would start renting model 3 vehicles.
The most robust version of the autopilot is called Full Self-Driving, or FSD, and currently costs an additional $ 5,000. The FSD includes Summon as well as Navigate on Autopilot, an active guidance system that directs a car from a ramp to a freeway ramp, including interchanges and lane changes. Once drivers have entered a destination in the navigation system, they can activate "Navigate autopilot" for that trip.
Tesla continues to improve autopilot navigation and the broader FSD system with live software updates. The company indicates on its website that the FSD will soon be able to recognize and react to traffic lights and stop signs and automatic driving in the streets of the city.
The next major change is a new custom chip called Hardware 3, which Tesla has recently started producing. The hardware built by Tesla is designed to have a higher processing power than the Nvidia computer currently available in models S, X and 3.
Musk tweeted on Saturday that Tesla would begin trading the new custom chip against existing vehicles in a few months.
Musk promises to drive independently for years. By the end of 2016, when Tesla started producing electric vehicles with a more robust suite of sensors, radar and cameras that would allow higher levels of automated driving. He also started taking money from customers for FSD. Musk said that at the time, it would become available if and when the technical challenges would be resolved and the regulatory approvals obtained.