Why charge now for Full Self Driving Capability?

Why charge now for Full Self Driving Capability?

Can someone clarify why Tesla would charge now for Full Self Driving Capability when it won't even be ready until late next year due to regulatory approvals? Basically, you will have paid for it and won't be able to use it for one full year. Or is there something I'm missing?

howie_bris | 20 October 2016

You would get eight instead of four cameras fitted to your car from the start, without paying a premium for that option later (according to the configuration page on the website).

cica3838 | 20 October 2016

That's incorrect. All hardware is installed regardless. Paying simply activates the features.

johndoeeyed | 20 October 2016

You can pay for it after production, at a higher cost, if you wish.
This is explicitly stated for the options in the design page.

cica3838 | 20 October 2016

Why would anyone pay now though? It can't be used now.

McLary | 20 October 2016

You are absolutely correct. It may never be approved for full use actually.

Bighorn | 20 October 2016

Because it's cheaper than buying it later.

iaeen | 21 October 2016

I can see some advantages in rolling the cost into a lease/loan vs paying a lump sum later. Also, there's the $1000 carrot that Tesla is using the tempt people. As to why Tesla is doing this, that's easy. More money!

I'm with you, though. When I buy one of these cars, I'll probably fit EAP and wait to go full autonomous. I'm just not willing to bet $3000 at three to one odds that this will be functional and approved by the bureaucrats within a reasonable time frame.

KP in NPT | 21 October 2016

If you pay now, you save money on something you know you will eventually use, and you are helping to fund its development.

I paid in advance for AP, knowing it was something I definitely wanted. It was rolled out later.

Ethan_M | 21 October 2016


Unless you have a lot of cash to burn, I would not invest the money to activate the "full self driving capability", because as others have mentioned, at least in the United States, I don't see the regulatory bodies giving the green light for this technology for at the least two years if not greater (bureaucracy).

The point of the cars already coming with all cameras installed? Besides the cash element and making the production process more uniform, even though you as a driver will not be able to engage the extra cameras, you can bet Tesla will be accumulating every bit of data from them.

jordanrichard | 21 October 2016

Well along that line of logic, why would any of us have bought our Tesla's knowing that the profit is going to help someone else get a cheaper EV (M≡).

David N | 21 October 2016

Curious, Does the new increase in cameras increase the accuracy of basic auto pilot, auto braking, lane changing, lane keeping, adaptive cruise control etc.......
If so, perhaps that additional up front charge may be a bit more easier to accept.

lilbean | 21 October 2016

@jordanrichard, I thought it was a slap in the face when Elon Musk said "thank you" to the Model S and Model X owners for funding the affordable Model 3. To me, it looked like he was laughing inside. Just my opinion.

cica3838 | 21 October 2016

Just seems odd to ask people to pay for something when it hasn't even been approved yet for use.

lilbean | 21 October 2016

I agree, ju$t like it'$ odd to pay in full for a car I haven't $een yet.

Ethan_M | 21 October 2016

@David N

Yes, with the new hardware comes a new name - "enhanced autopilot". I definitely think the money is worth this particular upgrade, especially being that to me, the current hardware ("1.0"), has one personally annoying shortcoming - a lack of superior blind spot monitoring.

Ethan_M | 21 October 2016


Although I could see where you're coming from, I personally didn't get that vibe from Elon. I think he was being genuinely sincere, and that was him expressing gratitude to the people of means who believed in him and his technology, without whom further evolution would not have been possible, and bringing Tesla to the masses would not have been possible.

lilbean | 21 October 2016

Thanks, @Ethan. :)

SCCRENDO | 21 October 2016

Its easier and cheaper for Tesla to install technologies in all cars. Another example would be supercharging in the 60s and the Model3s. You dont have to order it. But if you wish to have it its cheaper to do it upfront. No one is forcing you to purchase the option. If you think its not going to be approved dont order it. But if you change your mind it will cost you more later.

McLary | 21 October 2016

"you can bet Tesla will be accumulating every bit of data from them."

So you are OK with Tesla vampiring your battery to collect data, even if you haven't activated the features? Idiot!

leskchan | 21 October 2016

There are two options, Enhanced AutoPilot (EAP) $5,000 and Full Self-Driving (FSD) $3,000.

EAP is due out by December 2016 subject to Approval. EAP is only Level 2 so approval should not be an issue. There may be delay due to software fixes. FSD is Level 5 and this is the big question mark for approval.

If I were buying this now, I get the EAP and pass on FSD for now. That's me.

Ethan_M | 21 October 2016



The statement "you can bet Tesla will be accumulating every bit of data from them" was speculation - neither do I work for, nor am I associated with, Tesla.

Having a working knowledge of tech, along with the information we have at hand, this only makes sense.

leskchan | 21 October 2016


First, you need to stop calling people idiot.

Second, Tesla does collect vehicle data and is stated in the Privacy and Legal Statement at You have the option to opt out.

Third, this is called crowd-sourcing. This is a very common practice in today's IT world. With Google Maps, it tells you the instant traffic conditions. This is coming from crowd-sourcing of data feeding back from other drivers to Google. Everyone who wishes to contribute to enhance the features for benefit others. So you you up a little data and battery. You can opt out of Google too.

Ethan_M | 21 October 2016

@leskchan Thanks

Bubba2000 | 21 October 2016

Tesla AP 1.0 is very innovative and its functionality is unmatched even before software 8.0. Tesla was able to achieve all this with single camera using Mobileye chip and its software. Radar data was added later.

It is more than likely Tesla will get working the basic functions like radar assisted cruise control, automatic braking, etc working. Ultrasound functions including lane change, park assist should work. Optical functions like highway lane tracking may be possible in combination with precise GPS data. Complex optical functions like following street signs, driving city streets may take time.

Government should approve the basic safety features sooner than later. Rest of functions are ? mark.

SO | 22 October 2016

McLary ends several posts with "Idiot".

It could just be him sigining off referring to himself.

Remnant | 22 October 2016

@soudman (October 22, 2016)

<< McLary ends several posts with "Idiot". >>

"Idiot" does appear to be his signature, and it is consistent with the contents of his messages.

Bighorn | 22 October 2016

McLary is poor imposter of Mclary who was clever and used "idiot" in his tag line. He was controversial as people either loved him or hated him. The imposter is just a troll.

lilbean | 22 October 2016

@big, I've been duped! Lol.