In a move that we can only describe as equal parts laughable and confusing, Elon Musk announced last night via Twitter that Tesla would be raising the price of its almost non-existent Full-Self Driving feature from $10,000 to $12,000.
Despite moving one iteration further in the "beta testing" process for Full Self Driving, the product has not been available for wide commercial release, despite Tesla charging unsuspecting consumers $10,000 a clip for the software for nearly a half-decade now.
In other words, people buying Teslas have been paying for features that, but for dangerous looking beta tests, haven't arrived yet. This makes it obviously quizzical as to why Musk would go and raise the price for the feature.
Tesla FSD price rising to $12k on Jan 17— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 7, 2022
In August of last year, Musk came out and admitted that FSD Beta 9.2 was "actually not great".
Tesla skeptic and short seller Jim Chanos immediately rang in on Twitter, dryly noting about Musk's admission that he must have missed the admission on Tesla's AI day. Chanos also asked the obvious question: if the software is "not great", why is it being tested on public roads?
Last year, we reported that two senators had asked the Federal Trade Commission to examine whether or not Tesla misled consumers and endangered the public by marketing its driving systems as "Full Self Driving".
Senate Democrats Richard Blumenthal and Edward Markey wrote in a letter last year: "Tesla and (CEO) Mr. (Elon) Musk’s repeated overstatements of their vehicle’s capabilities...put Tesla drivers -- and all of the traveling public -- at risk of serious injury or death."
Recall, Elon Musk said in January 2021 that he was "highly confident [a Tesla] will be able to drive itself with reliability in excess of human this year."
Raise the price on a product that doesn’t exist, the entire increase drops to the bottom line pic.twitter.com/rWNopxGkGo— Quoth the Raven (@QTRResearch) January 8, 2022
Then, an admission from Tesla this past summer seemed to confess what anyone paying attention already knew: there would be no Full Self Driving by the end of 2021. And if we were betting people, we'd bet we're not going to see it anytime in 2022, either.
A memo to regulators last year noted: "Tesla indicated that they are still firmly in L2. As Tesla is aware, the public’s misunderstanding about the limits of the technology and its misuse can have tragic consequences."
Despite this, it hasn't stopped Tesla from rolling out (and then hurriedly recalling) "beta" versions of its FSD, which it has been doing since October 2020.
Last year, regulators in the United States also opened a long-overdue investigation into Tesla's Autopilot. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said the investigation includes Tesla's Model X, S and 3 for model years 2014-2021.
We're sure that investigation will turn out fine though...right?
(1/3) Well guys this is it, #Tesla will have to remove the sun for the next update to fix "#FSDBeta" from disengaging due to glare. Notice that this is a single point of failure that Tesla will never (never ever!) be able to fix or mitigate.$TSLA $TSLAQhttps://t.co/hNiaxJoag1 pic.twitter.com/Y5vwaydkUE— Bullshit Exposed (saving frunk puppies from Earl) (@BS__Exposed) January 8, 2022