1st June 2020

Technology Elon Musk: Tesla raises cost of ‘self-driving’ cars

Technology Elon Musk: Tesla raises cost of ‘self-driving’ cars

Technology

Technology The interior on a Tesla Model S full electric luxury car with a large touch screen and dashboard screen.Image copyright
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Tesla is raising the price of its “self-driving” option on its electric vehicles worldwide starting with a $1,000 (£820) hike.

Founder Elon Musk tweeted that the price “will continue to rise” as its technology improves.

But the entrepreneur said the technology it’s adding will be worth more than $100,000.

Mr Musk has been in a battle with officials in California over the restarting of Tesla’s US car assembly.

Tesla’s “full self-driving” (FSD) option is an extension to its Autopilot package, although it isn’t fully autonomous. FSD features include automatic lane changes, parallel parking and a summon feature, which automatically parks and retrieves the car. They also include automatic traffic light and stop sign control.

The self-driving add-on will cost $8,000 when the price rise kicks in on 1 July.

“The FSD price will continue to rise as the software gets closer to full self-driving capability with regulatory approval,” Mr Musk said in a series of tweets on Monday. “[At] that point, the value of FSD is probably somewhere in excess of $100,000.”

Tesla was investigated by regulators in the US after a driver was killed while using Autopilot in 2018. However, the investigation discovered the driver was playing a video game on his smartphone at the time of the crash.

Mr Musk is well-known for his frequent tweets, many of which have landed him in trouble.

One tweet earlier this month wiped $14bn off Tesla’s market value after Mr Musk wrote its share price was too high.

His latest tweets have also caused a little controversy online, with some questioning the $100,000 or more value he claims the self-driving software will be worth.

One reply said the value Mr Musk claims the self-driving package to be worth was “insane”. “Elon, real talk, i love you and the mission, but FSD will never be worth that much,” the tweet added.

The best-selling Tesla Model 3 currently sells for $33,690 in the US if a driver opts for the basic package. With Autopilot’s full self-driving capability this would currently cost $40,690.

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