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Reverse engineering reveals signs of FSD subscription coming to Tesla cars

According to some code in the Tesla mobile app, Tesla might be planning to roll out a subscription service for the full self-driving option. But, is it the best choice for consumers.


According to a post that first appeared on r/TeslaMotors subreddit, Tesla might be planning to roll out its promised subscription service for the full self-driving feature.

In the Reddit post, the user u/Callump01 says he has reverse-engineered the Tesla mobile app and has found a page for a new subscription service.

Did some reverse engineering on the app and Tesla looks to be preparing for subscriptions? from r/teslamotors

The page doesn’t specify what the subscription is for but, Elon Musk speaking at the companies Q1 earnings call had said “we will offer Full Self-Driving as a subscription service, but it will be probably towards the end of this year”.

On the call, Elon didn’t elaborate how the subscription service will work. Possible options are a monthly payment as the company already does with its premium connectivity package. Or it could also offer a service where customers subscribe for a predetermined mile on autopilot.

Tesla Autopilot Navigator

Either way, this should be welcome news for anyone who is unable to pay the full $8,000 price of the FSD package or for people leasing their cars. On the same earnings call, CFO Zackery Kirkhorn said, “We do understand that some customers who have an ownership or have leased their vehicles did not purchase that option upfront. And so this will enable those customers to spread out the cost of ownership of FSD or subscription over time.”

But, tempering expectations Kirkhorn also added “financially, rolling the upfront purchase of the FSD option into a loan in the vehicle or a lease will be the least expensive plan on a monthly basis to own.

Elon Musk also seems to agree saying “buying FSD is an investment in the future. And we are confident that it is an investment that will pay off to the consumer”.

And we believe that is more true than ever. According to a tweet by Elon Musk, a fundamental architectural rewrite of the autopilot software will be released in a few weeks. The upgraded software is expected to enable a driving point to point without needing any intervention from the driver. This has the potential to increase the price of the FSD package significantly. Therefore, buying the entire package outright seems to be a better investment for anyone who can.

What do you think? is it better to buy the full self-driving package hoping the price will go up? Or do you think it is better to use the feature as a subscription? Let me know what you think in the comment.

For more information checkout: Tesla's differently priced options for autopilot come to effect also checkout the ruling on the case between Tesla and the Nevada Gigafactory "whistleblower"

Tinsae Aregay has been following Tesla and The evolution of the EV space on a daily basis for several years. He covers everything about Tesla from the cars to Elon Musk, the energy business, and autonomy. Follow Tinsae on Twitter at @TinsaeAregay for daily Tesla news.