- Elon Musk discussed Tesla’s new Full Self-Driving (FSD) subscription in the company’s earnings call.
- Musk said it was “debatable” whether it’s worth paying the subscription right now.
- He said people subscribing to FSD, which doesn’t make your Tesla autonomous, were “betting on the future.”
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Elon Musk says it’s “debatable” whether Tesla’s new “Full Self Driving” (FSD) subscription is worth paying for.
Tesla announced last week it would let customers purchase FSD with a $199 monthly subscription, rather than paying $10,000 up front when they buy their vehicle, which was the only option before.
During the company’s earnings call on Monday, Musk said: “We need to make Full Self-Driving work in order for it to be a compelling value proposition.”
He added customers were essentially “betting on the future” by buying the subscription because FSD is not yet widespread.
“Right now, does it make sense for somebody to do FSD subscription? I think it’s debatable. But once we have Full Self-Driving widely deployed, then the value proposition will be clear,” Musk said.
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He was answering a question from an analyst about the subscription’s pricing.
FSD does not make Tesla cars fully autonomous – rather, it adds various driver-assistance features. Tesla says drivers must stay fully attentive with their hands on the wheel while FSD is enabled. The company warned on July 10, following the release of FSD’s most recent software update, that the vehicle may do the “wrong thing at the worst time.”
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Earlier in the call, Musk said the company expected FSD to “build slowly” but gather “a lot of momentum over time.” This is more cautious than some of his previous predictions.
In July 2020, Musk told a conference in Shanghai Tesla would have the “basic functionality” for truly autonomous vehicles by the end of that year. In April 2019, Musk also said the company would put 1 million autonomous “robotaxis” on the road in 2020 – the company has yet to release any.
In July 2021 Musk tweeted that building a fully autonomous car had turned out to be harder than he expected.
Tesla’s FSD, along with its more rudimentary Autopilot system, have come under public scrutiny over safety concerns. Musk said in April that a Tesla on Autopilot mode was 10 times less likely to get into an accident than a regular car, although experts told Insider’s Tim Levin that this stat was misleading.