Tesla pulled back the curtains on its plan to offer lower-trimmed vehicle owners the ability to purchase incremental hardware and software updates for their vehicles today. The company just added the option to purchase a software unlock to enable its Homelink automatic garage door opener on Standard Range and Standard Range Plus trims of the Model 3.
The new option will allow owners of the lower trims of the Model 3 to add the ability to open the garage door just as if the feature was installed at the factory. Tesla makes the otherwise boring process of opening the garage door beautiful with the addition of GPS integration that fires off the garage door opener within a user-defined distance from the door or gate. I have this setup for my father-in-law’s house and it works beautifully to first open the gate to their complex and a few minutes later to their garage door.
The option will set owners back $300 for the added convenience and requires a new RF module that will be shipped to a service center for installation. The RF modules themselves cost mere pennies, with the majority of the expense being the integration into the vehicle and the underlying software that makes for such an elegant solution.
The price includes the RF module itself and installation of the module at a Tesla Service Center. The installation adds the hardware to the vehicle and unlocks the new functionality in the vehicle’s software. Tesla notes that after purchase, the local service center will contact the owner to coordinate the installation of the new functionality into the vehicle.
More broadly, the simple addition of the automatic garage door opener signals that Tesla is doing everything it can to allow customers to add as many features as possible to as many cars as possible, and is making a profit on those options along the way. This particular piece of kit shows how Tesla’s expertise in software and hardware allow it to offer incremental options to customers, like this one, that would fall through the cracks with traditional automotive manufacturers.
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