Tesla Full Self Driving (Supervised) Now $99/Month — Reflections on 4.5 Years with Tesla FSD

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When I purchased my Tesla Model 3 Long Range in 2019, Full Self Driving (Beta) was $6000. I am living on a fixed retirement income and had to refinance my house to purchase the car. My interest rate was a great 3.5%, so I sprung for FSD as well because I knew I couldn’t come up with that much money later.

Also, Elon Musk promised that FSD would become more expensive as it improved on its way to completely automated driving. At first, he was right, the price of FSD went from $6,000 to $10,000, to $12,000, to $15,000. Musk promised numerous times that FSD would become completely automated within the next 12 months. However, those of us using FSD could see that the progress was slow and full automation might only come far in the future. Then the price dropped to $12,000 and Tesla offered FSD for $199/month. Then a funny thing happened — Tesla started making more cars than it could sell. It suddenly became possible to transfer free Supercharging and FSD from your old Tesla to a new one. Then, Tesla offered a free month of FSD with every new car purchase. Then, Tesla offered a free month of FSD to every Tesla driver. Finally, in the last week, the monthly rate for FSD dropped from $199/month to $99/month.

FSD Beta Screen – Traffic Lights Visualized. March 24, 2024. Photo by Fritz Hasler.

At this rate, $12,000 for permanent FSD no longer makes much sense, especially with today’s high interest rates. At $99/month, you only hit $12,000 in 10 years. You would need to keep the car more than 10 years or Tesla would need to allow you to transfer FSD to a new car for it to make financial sense at this price.

Furthermore, Tesla has also dropped the prices of its vehicles dramatically to keep demand up. This is fantastic for new car buyers, but it has also dramatically reduced the price you can get for your Tesla when you sell it.

The latest version of FSD V12 is no longer called FSD Beta, it’s now called FSD Supervised. It is a big improvement. It is much smoother and handles things like rotaries and speed bumps much better. However, it still has serious flaws. For example, it doesn’t recognize and blasts through 20 mph school zones. This seems like a simple oversight that can be easily corrected in the future, but why hasn’t it been corrected yet? It also can’t effectively merge or make a left turn onto a busy street in my experience. It’s hard to imagine how this can be fixed and still be safe.

Some things I’ve learned about technology in my life: technology can move very fast or very slow. 1) As a freshman engineering student using a slide rule in 1958, no one could have imagined the incredible advances in electronic computing power that were to come. 2) The advances from the Dick Tracy comic book watch to the modern smartphone was incredibly quick. 3) From my 7-day transatlantic ship crossing in 1960, who could have imagined 5-hour jet crossings for the common man in the ’70s. 4) AI software is accomplishing tasks thought impossible 10 years ago. However: 5) It took 100 years for advances from lead-acid batteries to lithium-ion batteries to make EVs practical. 6) NASA has been trying to fly from runway to space for 50 years with little progress. 7) The 1960s cartoon The Jetsons imagined an airplane in every garage. 60 years later, we are no closer to this dream. 8) 100 years from now, we may still be dreaming about clean cheap power from nuclear fusion.

Back to the topic of today, here are some great things about FSD Supervised V12.3.3:

  • It steers perfectly on narrow mountain roads (with no painted lines) here in Utah and also on the backroads in Northern Wisconsin.
  • It automatically slows down for sharp turns.
  • It moves over just the right amount for oncoming traffic, moves around bikes, and slows down and moves around pedestrians.
  • It slows down just the right amount for speed bumps.
  • It handles rotaries/roundabouts perfectly.

And here are some remaining issues with FSD Supervised V12.3.3:

  • Doesn’t recognize school zones.
  • Won’t return to the right lane after passing cars on a freeway.
  • Sometimes hits curbs (others have observed this).
  • Phantom braking (under difficult lighting situations).

Referral Program: If you are buying a new Tesla, Tesla has reactivated its referral program. If you find any of my articles helpful to you, you can use my referral link: https://ts.la/arthur73734 (be sure to use it when you make your order). If you are buying a new Tesla and use my link, you’ll receive $1000 off the purchase price of a Model S or X, or you will get $500 off the price of a Model 3 or Y. You will also get 3 months of “Full Self Driving.”

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Arthur Frederick (Fritz) Hasler

Arthur Frederick (Fritz) Hasler, PhD, former leader of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization & Analysis Laboratory (creator of this iconic image), and avid CleanTechnica reader. Also: Research Meteorologist (Emeritus) at NASA GSFC, Adjunct Professor at Viterbo University On-Line Studies, PSIA L2 Certified Alpine Ski Instructor at Brighton Utah Ski School.

Arthur Frederick (Fritz) Hasler has 123 posts and counting. See all posts by Arthur Frederick (Fritz) Hasler