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Tesla’s FSD subscription is here, and even if you didn’t buy Tesla’s Full Self-Driving package before, you have the chance now. Tesla has released a subscription service for those who want Full Self-Driving, but maybe don’t want to pay $10,000 for it upfront. So just what does the FSD subscription include?

A white 2021 Tesla Model 3 against a white background.
2021 Tesla Model 3 | Tesla

What is Tesla FSD?

Tesla FSD is a more autonomous version of their Autopilot function. Autopilot has been Tesla’s semi-autonomous driver assistance system up until this point. While many people believe Autopilot allows a Tesla to operate independently, or autonomously, this is not the case. Autopilot is an advanced system that incorporates safety systems such as lane keep assist, automatic braking, and adaptive cruise control. 

Full Self-Driving, or FSD, takes this one step further. It’s important to remember that the new FSD is a beta package, meaning that customers are basically trialing it for the company. As FSD operates based on a neural network, it will constantly be adapting and making corrections. A neural network collects information, shares it with the network, and ‘learns’ from the information being collected by all of the Teslas using FSD.

Tesla’s website includes the following information about the level of autonomy that FSD offers: “Note: These features are designed to become more capable over time; however the currently enabled features do not make the vehicle autonomous. The currently enabled features require a fully attentive driver, who has their hands on the wheel and is prepared to take over at any moment.”

What’s included with FSD?

The capabilities of each individual Tesla will depend on what the configuration and location of your Tesla. Some features come disabled, and the operator will need to enable them in order to use them. 

FSD has the capabilities for Traffic-Aware Cruise Control, Autosteer, and Navigate. Tesla’s website says that Navigate “is designed to get you to your destination more efficiently by actively guiding your car from on-ramp to off-ramp, including suggesting and making lane changes, navigating highway interchanges, and taking exits.” Tesla drivers who have engaged this feature are currently reporting mixed experiences with this feature. 

FSD also comes with auto lane change, autopark, summon, and smart summon. Smart summon allows Tesla owners to call their cars to them, like a seriously well-behaved dog. Or maybe a not-so well-behaved dog, we’ll have to see how effective this feature is. 

FSD also includes technology called Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control, where the Tesla recognizes a stop sign or traffic light, and behaves accordingly. Tesla owners have also reported mixed results with this so far. 

Teslas come standard with automatic emergency braking, forward and side collision warning, obstacle-aware acceleration, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure avoidance, and emergency lane departure avoidance, regardless of whether it is equipped with FSD.

How much does Tesla’s FSD cost?

Tesla’s website says that whether your current Autopilot package includes Basic Autopilot or Enhanced Autopilot determines the FSD capability price. The price could be $99 per month or $199 per month.

To use FSD, your Tesla must have a 3.0 computer. Teslas beginning in mid-2019 came with these computers, but those produced between 2016 and 2019 came with 2.0 and 2.5. Teslas operating with those computers will have to undergo an upgrade. Tesla owners who need this upgrade are reporting that it costs $1500, though they were told that the hardware their vehicles came with would be able to handle FSD, whenever it came out. 

Tesla FSD has been a long time coming, and it will be exciting to see how it performs. The fact that it is operating using a neural network will allow it to become better with time and use, and will allow those unsure of FSD time to see how it works. If FSD becomes nearly flawless, it could mean great things for car safety in the future.


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