Tesla CEO Elon Musk has announced that the company will increase the price of its autopilot driver assistant by $1,000 on August 16th. The price rise will be applicable on the “full self-driving “version of the Autopilot system.
Price increase spree at Tesla
The EV manufacturing company recently announced that it will be raising the prices of some of its car variants. The full self-driving version of the Autopilot system at Tesla is a higher-end package that currently costs $6,000. It is an optional package for users. They can choose to get it while buying a car or get an upgrade post-delivery for $8,000. Whether or not the company will increase the price tag for both these services is unclear. No spokesperson has talked about the price increase yet.
Note that the full self-driving option was shelved in 2018 after the company faced criticism for overselling the autonomous driving tech of its vehicles. It brought back the option this year and now wants to sell it at a higher price. Contrary to the name of the package, Tesla’s cars are not designed to operate autonomously.
Interestingly, Musk said that the cars will become fully autonomous by the end of 2019, even revealing a customized chip that would make that happen. However, as far as the myriad of promises he makes, it would be worthwhile to note his bad track record of fulfilling those promises on time.
What can Autopilot achieve?
While it is not a 100% driverless system, Tesla’s Autopilot is far more advanced than today’s driver-assistance systems. The package can keep the car in the center of a lane, and it could even change lanes automatically. The system can also tackle on and off-ramps while driving on a highway. However, the driver has to monitor the changes made by the system and ensure that they have their hands on the driving wheel at all times.
The car manufacturer installs a basic version of the system in all their cars which performs simple tasks like matching the speed of a car in front or apply automatic emergency brakes. These features are available in cars offered by other manufacturers as well. What sets Tesla apart from others is its full self-driving package. Musk noted earlier this year that the price of this package will “increase substantially” over time. He has also warned users that as and when self-driving tech becomes more commonplace, the company will increase the price of all its cars.