FSD Portability

I was half listening to the Q3 earnings call, but I thought I heard an intriguing question about owners who purchase FSD having that option tied to their account rather than the physical car. More like a software license (which is what it is) than a physical bit of kit. Think about the value of FSD on a high-mileage car that is near the end of its battery life. When you trade it or sell it, the FSD, if tied to that worn-out device, has depreciated along with the worn out components to the point it's nearly worthless.

But if you could move it to the next car, it has kept its value and might make you more likely to replace an aging car, knowing that you don't have to buy that very expensive option all over again.


  • I like the idea of it. But at the same time, you spent money improving a vehicle and only has value if you continue to use Tesla products. If you decide to get a different car, all that money you spent on FSD is gone and you get zero value from that on a trade in or sale.

    The way it is currently is better.
  • Lots of people have requested this, but with a monthly FSD subscription coming “soon” it’s not as important.
  • Oh man, I like the idea of a subscription even more. I work on contract, so one year, I might have a 120 mile round trip commute and others (last year), an 8 mile commute. Also, what would happen if I ponied up $8K for FSD (soon to be $10K) and my Tesla was totaled? Would insurance cover it?
  • @DaveG_NJ - If you inform the insurance company that you purchased FSD, they should cover it, but they could increase your premium. Best to ask them before deciding.
  • I totaled my car and the insurance took the FSD into account as to how much they gave me. It did not increase my insurance rate,
  • I like the idea of taking my FSD with me to my next purchase. I've paid for 2 vehicles to have FSD, once for the MX and now for the new MY, so I have a decided bias in this opinion. As OP stated it is much more like a license (better with each OTA update) than a physical piece of depreciated hardware, especially since all Tesla's now have the hardware necessary to perform FSD installed at the factory.

    As far as the insurance value of FSD, the cost of the software and the ability of your vehicle to perform FSD functions adds to the value of the vehicle, but it also makes it a safer vehicle with less of a chance to have costly repairs due to accidents (at least in the perfect sense that FSD is 100% effective) and less of a loss risk to the insurer. Legacy insurers don't quite see that, but the Tesla insurance package has shown cost savings to many drivers.
  • The cost of FSD covers many things:

    1) There are significant hardware costs, some of which Tesla eats if an owner doesn't elect to get FSD. You have cameras, radar, and the AP processor.

    2) There are huge development costs. This includes the development of custom chips, hardware, software development, tagging, QA, and testing. Many of these costs are ongoing too.

    3) There are legal costs. No matter if owners are told to be attentive, someone is bound to be watching a DVD player and oblivious to the drive. They kill themselves and then someone blames Tesla and the legal crap begins. Win or lose, it's expensive and it has to go into the costs of FSD

    4) Regulatory. Hard to know how much work is required, but when you're leading the way, it is often far more costly for the leader than the followers.
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