Model X

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To purchase FSD or not?

Have a 2020 MX with Autopilot and have been thinking to get FSD (currently priced at 8K).

The basic Autopilot has worked just fine for me and don't ever see myself using summon or autopark. Is navigate on autopilot, auto lane change and autosteer on street worth 8K?

FSD @8k only available till Thursday.


  • The answer depends upon how long you plan to keep your X.

    Today, FSD isn't worth $8K because it primarily provides benefits on highways, and only in driver assist mode.

    If/when the new FSD beta is distributed to all vehicles, that will expand NOAP (Navigate On AutoPilot) to most (possibly all) streets, including navigating intersections, automatically turning, ... - and that will increase the value, but it will still be in driver assist mode, and may not yet be worth $8K.

    The big question is if/when Tesla will receive approval to allow FSD to operate without driver monitoring. We're starting to see approval for competing FSD systems to operate without human drivers in limited areas.

    My guess is that we'll see Tesla FSD approved first for limited access highways (the easiest case) - and then as confidence increases eventually we'll see approval expand to more cases. And when that happens, FSD could be worth $8K, depending upon how you plan to use your X.

    We purchased FSD for our 2017 S and 2018 X (for $3K). We plan to keep both vehicles for close to 8 years or 100K miles (whichever comes first). We knew there wasn't any value in FSD when we purchased the vehicles, and assumed we might see FSD functionality operating in driver assist mode for years with each vehicle, and that would be enough to justify $3K, even if the system was never allowed to operate without a driver. In 2017/2018, purchasing FSD came with a lot of risk - because there was no guarantee Tesla would ever get a non-LIDAR AP system to work.

    Now, the functionality appears to be getting much closer to driving under all conditions, so the risk is much lower - and the prospects of having FSD operating under driver assist mode in most (if not all) conditions is much closer (in a few months).

    So, if you plan to keep your X for another 5-6 years, then spending $8K for FSD may make sense (especially if you do so before the price goes up to $10K later this week).

    Or, you can wait until next year, when Tesla provides FSD under subscription, though the monthly cost could be higher over the remaining life of your vehicle than if you purchase the option for $8K now (and then have the option available when you sell or trade-in your vehicle).

    While $8K seems high, Tesla is the only manufacturer that has consumer vehicles on the road now that could be approved for FSD, or will at least have NOAP on most (if not all) roads. Other manufacturers will wait until they have FSD ready for approval, and then offer it in their vehicles. For them, the cost of "upgrading" to get FSD will be the cost of a brand new vehicle - costing much more than $8K.

    We should expect that FSD is going to be expensive from Tesla and other manufacturers when it first becomes available - the development cost for FSD is very high. But as the technology matures, the price will go down years from now, and will likely at some point become free as FSD becomes a standard feature (possibly required by government mandate).
  • Thanks BP. You hit the nail on the head.

    I do plan to keep the car for at least 4 - 5 years hopefully longer if the car holds at least 80%+ battery capacity.

    I was psyched when I first experienced AP on my 2016 MS. I have not felt the same way about FSD yet (maybe cause it is still a few years away from true FSD) but the price lockin for the future is appealing.

    So have decided to take the leap :).

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
  • I am in the same position. I purchased enhanced autopilot several weeks back through the app for $4000. Includes what I wanted without the full self driving. 2020 Model X delivered 9/28/20.
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