Is Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Package worth $8000?

Tesla offers a package called “Full Self-Driving” to their customers as an $8000 upgrade, with various new features, over the air upgrades, and a promise of Level 5 autonomy in the future. Should you buy it?

Tesla is a car company which has had immense success in the past 5 years, introducing some amazing models at fair prices. Elon Musk, the CEO, has a very clear view for how he thinks that Tesla will move forwards in self driving. He believes that with the current hardware installed in Teslas, we will be able to reach Level 5 autonomy, which is a completely self driving car! Tesla sells a package called “Full Self-Driving,” which already has a handful of features, with some coming in the near future. In this article, we’ll go over all of the features and if you should buy the package or not.

Tesla Model S in autopilot (Credit: Tesla)

Background Information

If you’ve been following Elon Musk on Twitter during the past few months, he’s been tweeting a lot about Tesla nearing Level 5 autonomy, and how the Full Self-Driving package has an immense value and the price of it will only keep increasing in the future. So for a Tesla buyer today, should you spend a lot of extra money to get full self-driving, or is it not worth it? Let’s go over the actual features that you get with this package first.

Here are the Features:

  • Navigate on Autopilot
  • Auto Lane Change
  • Autopark
  • Smart Summon
  • Traffic Lights & Stop Sign Detection
  • More features in the future
Tesla’s cameras and sensors mapping the surroundings (Credit: Tesla)

Navigate on Autopilot

Navigate on Autopilot is a feature which Tesla released over a year ago, and it adds on to the normal autopilot. Normally, your car would just steer and accelerate as it needed to, and it would keep going on the highway. With the new Navigate on Autopilot, the car can merge from one highway to another, take exits, and automatically change lanes, which is a standalone feature, but it ties into Navigate on Autopilot.

If you turn on Navigate on Autopilot will driving to your destination, the Tesla will already know to take which exit, it will change lanes if your current lane has a lot of traffic, and it will also merge onto different highways if that is what your route entails. Navigate on Autopilot takes away the small things that the driver still needed to do while driving on the highway, like telling the Tesla to change lanes, take exits, etc.

Auto Lane Change

We went over the main part of auto lane change in the last section, but there are some other parts to it. Auto lane change has a few different modes in it, either to be aggressive with the lane changing so that you are consistently hitting that max speed, or to be conservative with the lane changing, and even if you are quite a bit lower than the max speed, it won’t change lanes

Even though the aggressive mode for auto lane change will change lanes much more frequently, it won’t do any harmful lane changes, but it will definitely change lanes even to just go a little closer to the top speed. I like keeping it in the middle sections, so that the car doesn’t change too much, but also so it doesn’t stay in the same lane for ages.

Tesla Model 3 scanning where other cars are (Credit: Tesla)

Autopark

Autopark is a feature that has been in Teslas for quite a while now, and it is really convenient if you are trying to park in cramped space, or just don’t feel like parking at all. Once you drive up in front of a spot, you will see a P come up on your screen, and then you can start the Autopark process by reversing. I really like this feature for parallel parking, since sometimes it’s hard to weave in your car into tiny spaces while parking. It would also be nice for Tesla to add a feature with reversed the car out as well, so that we don’t need to do that ourselves, but I think I’m getting too used to Tesla releasing the bleeding edge features all the time.

Smart Summon

Smart summon is an add-on to the original feature called summon. Summon would reverse your car out of the garage, out of a parking lot, or it could also drive your car forward, putting in into your garage. Summon was cool, but smart summon was what a lot of people wanted from 2017, when Tesla showed off how you could call your car to come to you while you were shopping for groceries.

Smart summon has 2 modes, one is a come to me feature where the car will drive its way up to you, and that is a useful feature to use while its raining outside. Another mode that you can use is a go to destination mode, and your Tesla will guide to that location. I’ve tried this feature many times, and its a very hit or miss thing. I really think that smart summon is half baked, and Tesla should get it to work 100 out of every 100 times.

Smart Summon on the Tesla Model 3 (Credit: Tesla)

Traffic Light & Stop Sign Detection

This full self-driving feature will automatically be built-in with Autopilot. When autopilot is engaged and you come past a stop sign or a traffic light, your Tesla will stop at that spot. This was a safety feature that Tesla introduced recently since a lot of people would forget to disengage autopilot and take back control when a stop light came. Now, Tesla’s will stop at the red light, and keep going once it turns back into green as well, which is a cool feature for local driving.

Upcoming Feature- New Autosteer

Autosteer is a feature which comes standard on all new Teslas now, but according to Tesla’s website, we should be getting a new iteration of it in the future. Autosteer will supposedly work on city streets in the future, so you can now go around using autopilot on the local roads too! For the past couple of years, Tesla has really focused on getting down highway autopilot right, by introducing features like Navigate on Autopilot and Auto Lane Change, but they’re shifting their attention to local roads now, which is a great sign!

Cockpit of the upcoming Tesla Roadster 2.0 (Credit: Tesla)

Pricing

The cost of the full self-driving package right now is $8000. Elon Musk has came out on Twitter and said that the value of all these features is close to $100,000, which I think is a VERY far reach. What I do believe, however, is that the price of full self-driving will continue to go up bit by bit, until Tesla actually reaches that Level 5 autonomy from their cars. The price of this package at the end should be around $15K, which is almost the price of another car!

If you’re buying a Tesla today, make sure to buy the full self-driving package. This package has not even reached its full potential, and it’s definitely worth $8,000. Don’t delay this purchase either, because the price of this package will only go up in the future, and you don’t want to pay more in the future.

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I’m Sai Koppu, a 16-Year-Old Technology Reviewer who is the founder and CEO of 24/7Tech, aimed to educate people about the latest and greatest technologies.

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