In a reply to Whole Mars Catalog about when Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) subscriptions are launching, Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, said yesterday that they are coming in Q2 for sure. He also added that buying FSD will still be a better deal in the long term than the subscription.

The current cost of Tesla’s FSD package is $10,000. The tweet above could mean that the cost of a FSD subscription over the course of an ownership period (3 years? 5 years?) will be higher than the cost of buying FSD ($10,000). Some of the features in Tesla’s FSD package at the moment include Navigate on Autopilot, Autopark, Smart Summon, and Auto Lane Change. However, practically door-to-door autonomous driving is expected to roll out to a lot more Tesla owners in the coming few months. Some owners have had the early beta version of this for months, and the pool of drivers with it keeps growing.

The Difference Between Tesla’s Autopilot & FSD

I saw a Twitter thread show up in my feed the other day where someone mentioned that Tesla’s Autopilot and FSD were the same thing, and that “FSD” doesn’t exist. The misinformation can lead some to be confused, so let’s look at how the two products are similar and related, yet different.

Perhaps seeing Tesla’s FSD package as an upgrade to its Autopilot features is the easiest way to view it. Tesla’s Autopilot comes standard on new Tesla cars and will keep your vehicle from getting into an accident in certain situations. It will also keep your vehicle in its lane and provides what is often called “adaptive cruise control” in other vehicles. Tesla now calls this “Basic Autopilot” (implying that FSD is an advanced version of Autopilot) and phrases it this way:

“Included with every Tesla, Autopilot enables your car to steer, accelerate and brake automatically for other vehicles and pedestrians within its lane. Advanced safety and convenience features are designed to assist you with the most burdensome parts of driving, alongside driver assistance features such as emergency braking, collision warning and blind-spot monitoring.”

It should be noted that Autopilot and FSD do still require active supervision from the driver — pay attention to the road and be prepared to fully take over at any moment! Tesla FSD is not yet at a robotaxi level of development.

However, Tesla’s FSD package will increasingly allow “drivers” to take short and long-distance trips without any accelerating, decelerating, or steering action from the driver. In more and more cases, all anyone will need to do is get in the car and tell it where to go. For right now, FSD is in an early beta and still needs the driver to be attentive.

You can learn mover about the two features here.

Photo by Chanan Bos, CleanTechnica.

Editor’s note: As this article was being edited, Elon Musk tweeted out a few updates on FSD development and its planned rollout. Here are those updates:



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