Why Tesla’s Autonomous Driving Subscription Makes Its Customers Complain

To purchase the autonomous driving subscription, US owners of certain Tesla models will have to pay for a hardware upgrade. A discovery that goes badly because the manufacturer assured a few years ago that it would not be necessary.

Tesla’s autonomous driving subscription is long overdue. Its launch in the United States on July 16, however, did not delight everyone. As pointed out by the specialized media Electrek on July 18, Tesla’s new offer – which gives access to several autonomous driving functions for a monthly fee of $ 199 – has put a sensitive subject back on the table: that of vehicle compatibility.

From the end of 2016 to mid 2019 Tesla assured on its site that the processors of the vehicles sold then (Hardware 2.0 or 2.5) had the capacity required to run future autonomous driving software, recalls Electrek, with supporting evidence. People who bought one of these vehicles were therefore assured that they would not need to upgrade the equipment of the machine.

Source: Louise Audry for Numerama

Change the processor of some Tesla

Tesla, however, quickly changed his mind. In mid-2019, the company founded by Elon Musk unveiled a new chip called Hardware 3.0. More powerful and therefore more suited to the needs of autonomous driving software, it has since been fitted to Tesla vehicles. The manufacturer however quickly reassured its customers, specifying that those with cars equipped with Hardware 2.0 or 2.5 would benefit from a free hardware upgrade, if they were equipped with the future autonomous driving software.

The annoying detail is that this promise does not ultimately apply in all situations. Tesla does offer the free upgrade to the Hardware 3.0 processor to people who purchase the autonomous driving software all at once ($ 10,000). But the company does not offer it to those who would like to opt for the monthly subscription: they are for the moment asked to pay 1,500 dollars, in order to upgrade the vehicle, when they try to take out the subscription. ‘subscription. As Electrek points out, customers didn’t like it. It remains to be seen whether Tesla will backtrack on this point in order not to offend some of its customers.

What’s in the Tesla Autonomous Driving Subscription?

The autonomous driving subscription unveiled on July 16 by Tesla allows, in the United States, access to several functions, specifies Electrek: navigation with Autopilot, automatic wire change, Autopark and the “Summon” ( which brings the car to you), as well as functions that automatically adapt the behavior of the vehicle to traffic lights and stop signs.

It costs $ 199 per month. Customers who have already subscribed to the “Enhanced Autopilot” feature will however be able to benefit from it for $ 99 per month. The subscription can be canceled at any time via the mobile app. It is currently only available in the United States.

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