Today when you buy a tesla you get a feature called autopilot included with your car for free.
This is arguably the best and most innovative tech in the car. No other production car on the market has driver assistant capabilities that can match what Tesla is capable of.
It has full hardedly changed my experience of driving a car to the extent that I will not except any other type of car without this feature. It's like using an iphone with apps, vs a flip phone. You will not want to go back.
Autopilot provides safety. I am not a safety type of guy, but having a machine stay in lane and drive and then seeing humans swivel around on roads and do all kinds of crazy things makes you never want to have any humans behind a steering wheel.
It also gives you comfort while driving. It removes most of the stress of being in traffic, and allows you to focus on a podcast you are listing to or think and even write emails while in the car. Everyone does this anyway, I know. It just becomes a lot safer when doing it in a Tesla.
Your mind after an hour of traffic in a Tesla vs a normal car is completely different. Relaxed vs annoyed and stressed.
However every other car make has the same feature, it just does not work as well. On my last trip to Germany I drove the newest Audi A6, a beautiful car, but its driver assistance feature could not even stay in lane on the highway. Mercedes is the same way.
In pretty much every other car, you will have to pay for such features, but Tesla provides the autopilot for free in every car.
There are a few features where Tesla actually lacks behind others, specifically when it comes to reading signs. German cars for instance do this quite well, but Tesla cannot do it at all. Speed limit information comes via GPS at the moment. Autopilot also does not adjust your speed according to the speed limit changes. German cars do this fairly reliably .
Autopilot free but FSD for $7000
Additionally Tesla has a feature called FSD which is short for Full Self Driving. This feature is not yet out or complete so currently it basically allows you to
- Change lanes semi-automatically
- Enhanced Summon (does not really work)
- Autopark (also does not really work)
In essence you are paying $6000 currently for auto lane changes, that are choppy and require you to confirm them (at least with your hands on the steering wheel). This now changes to $7k on November 1
This makes absolutely no sense. Think about how much money this is relative to the car and how little functionality it adds.
As a result only 40% of tesla buyers pay for this added feature
Summon is cool - but you are just a ginny pig
Enhanced autopilot is cool and people use it.
The thing is, its very choppy and you will be quicker walking to your car then having the car come to you. You will also always be in control of the car.
However again, it's by far the best and most amazing thing on the market.
Nobody even comes close. It's fun to use and I use it every chance I get (if I have the luxury of being able to waste time).
But let's be real. This feature primarily lets Tesla collect data all over the world in all kinds of weird spots every day.
What If: November 1st.
So I am surprised that even 40% if people are buying FSD. Probably people are thinking ahead and understand that eventually they want the features that will be released.
I am certainly one of of those. I don't think a crappy lane change feature is worth 6k, but I am certain the coming features will be worth it and I don't want to miss out on any feature Tesla releases.
But the price increase to $7k on November 1st still make no sense. It's just too much. I can't believe Musk is that much out of touch.
However if some addition to the autopilot will be released that totally would change the game. Specifically
- reading traffic signs and adjusting speed automatically
- recognizing stop signs
- recognizing lights
- making turns according to navigation
All of the above would be complete game changer and turn FSD feature not into something you would want in the future but rather now. They would also prove that FSD is much closer to reality .
Where was autopilot in V10
Tesla just released V10. A major upgrade from V9 that was before, but with absolutely no upgrades to autopilot functionality. I find that strange.
I think they were behind in V10 and decided to release all the secondary features first. I am guessing that on Nov 1st autopilot improvements will come along with an increase in the price for enhanced autopilot.
We will see.