Tesla hikes price for Full Self-Driving tech

The electric vehicle manufacturer is yet to deliver on its promise of autonomous driving technology. However, that hasn’t stopped it from increasing the price.

Electric vehicle specialist Tesla is preparing to hike the price of its controversial Full Self-Driving (FSD) package – despite so far failing to roll out the promised autonomous tech to the vast majority of existing buyers.

Currently listed at $US10,000 ($AU14,000) in North America, the optional feature will cost 20 per cent more by the end of this month.

“Tesla FSD price rising to $US12,000 on January 17 [2022] … Just in the US,” CEO Elon Musk Tweeted overnight.

While currently undergoing a limited beta testing phase, recurring faults and legislative restrictions have prevented the vast majority of FSD buyers from acquiring the features promised at launch. 

Participants of the current trials – believed to primarily comprise employees and longterm devotees of the brand – were required to sign a confidentiality agreement before taking part, and have been prohibited from communicating with media outlets on the real-world capabilities of the feature.

Analysis by Drive last year found Tesla may be required to return approximately $US2.7 billion ($AU3.7B) in refunds to 350,000 buyers in it can’t deliver on its promises of complete autonomy.

However, the manufacturer continues to claim the technology will be retrospectively installed to existing cars via an over-the-air update when viable.

In Australia, the tech package – which is not approved for local roads – currently costs $AU10,100. There do not appear to be any immediate plans to increase pricing locally.

Full Self-Driving is offered in addition to the standard – and equally contentious – ‘Autopilot’ function, which packages radar cruise control and lane-keep assist.

However, Tesla’s autonomous capabilities have been the spotlight in recent times.

Last year the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened an investigation into Autopilot, following a spate of high-profile crashes and at least one fatality.

Multiple Tesla owners have also been spotted attempting to travel without an occupant in the driver’s seat, against the recommendations of the manufacturer.

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