With the release of the new Traffic Light and Stop Sign control feature, many people want to upgrade. But the cost is going up soon, so if you can’t buy now you might be out of luck. Thankfully, Tesla is working on a subscription service to make their self-driving features more accessible. But could subscriptions come back to bite us?
How much would you pay for FSD?
Many people have criticized Tesla for charging thousands of dollars for the promise of features to come. But maybe more people would be willing to pay a monthly subscription for the current self-driving features that are available. The FSD features work better for some routes, so people could test the feature out for their own commute without forking over thousands of dollars.
Electrek reports that such a subscription might not be too far off. Noted Tesla hacker, Green, found evidence of such a subscription in the Tesla app.
It seems like once FSD is more feature-complete Tesla might release this subscription plan, which makes sense. Paying for the FSD upgrade is generally seen as early access crowdfunding, for those who are very excited about the tech. But those paying for a subscription service wouldn’t as be happy about buggy features in beta.
Opening Pandora’s Box
So we’ll be able to access FSD features for cheaper, that’s great right? I’m not so sure, and I think a move like this is bound to flare up plenty of debate.
Paying seven thousand dollars for autopilot software is a hard pill to swallow. Paying a monthly subscription fee is much easier. But I’m worried a subscription plan like this might open the doors for many more paywalls. It doesn’t have to be Tesla, some car company is going to see this and take the subscription model too far.
We’ve already seen that Tesla is able to increase performance through over the air software updates. Any EV company with a similar system could do the same to decrease performance. Then they could charge you a monthly subscription to use full power.
This might sound a bit tinfoil hat, but the potential is there. I’ve always been conflicted about paying for software to make full use of the car’s computer. But I understand why Tesla needs to do that to fund the development of the tech. But expanding that to a subscription service will slowly make paying to unlock features of a car more normalized.
We’re not going to see a car that requires an air conditioner subscription next year. But that kind of thing won’t come quickly. A subscription to FSD opens the door to that, and will slowly make people open up to more subscription services. It sounds ridiculous, but if you’ve been paying for an FSD subscription for years, the right marketing will make a “performance mode” subscription sound just fine.
I don’t think an FSD subscription is a bad thing. It will make the tech available to many more people, and make our roads safer. But I’m going to be keeping my eyes out for any new subscription services that might take things too far.
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