When will Tesla ship their Full Self-Driving package? That’s a really difficult question to answer, but a tweet today suggests that there’ll at least be a new way to pay for it in early 2021.
Twitter user PadgeUK asked Elon about the ability to pay for the FSD package annually. His particularly use case is around leasing vehicles, but this question of which payment options will be available, hasn’t really been answered.
When Elon first confirmed FSD subscription, he indicated it’d be available by the end of 2020, but that looks like it has now slipped to early 2021. When we think of subscriptions, most of our subs are monthly expenses like our subscriptions to Adobe’s Creative Cloud, Spotify, Netflix, so naturally, talk of FSD subscription would lead us to think monthly would certainly be available. Tesla’s own Premium Connectivity subscription is available monthly, so it’d be an obvious choice.
Today we got confirmation that an annual payment will at least be an option from early next year. Now early could mean January, but actually may refer to any point in Q1, giving Tesla up to 3 months to execute.
It is unclear if committing to a year of FSD would yield a discount over buying it month to month, but that would make sense, given Tesla gets the cash (or bitcoin) in their account sooner.
The straight-up price for FSD is currently A$10,100 in Australia. If we imagine a typical lease runs for 3 years, that would put an averaged price at A$3,366.66 per year, or A$280.55 per month for 36 months.
What will probably be the biggest question for those who own a Tesla haven’t yet purchased FSD, is what is the cheapest way to buy it. This may mean that some families consider only buying it for a couple of months per year, when they take holidays and travel long distances.
In this example, I’d expect to see Tesla charge a premium to go month-to-month, to encourage customers to buy it annually, or even outright.
Back in July this year, Elon was a remote participant of the World Artificial Conference in China where he confidently said that Tesla will reach basic Level 5 autonomy by the end of 2020. That hasn’t happened and is clear now, with just 9 days remaining, that will be another self-imposed timeline missed.
I’d actually love to hear from Elon about the reasons why this estimate missed the mark. He’s spoken before about exponential timelines being hard to predict and with the rate of AI improvement, exponential is what we should expect. Covid certainly set a lot of company’s back in 2020, but this timeline was set well after Covid was a known quantity and employees were back to work.
After watching Elon