Amid all of the fanfare surrounding the launch of new 100D variants of the Model S and Model X, Tesla quietly raised the price of its Autopilot system across the board.
The price increased by $500. That brings the final cost up to $3,000 for buyers who specify the system when ordering, or $3,500 for those who have it installed after delivery. All Tesla electric cars built since October 2014 have the hardware for Autopilot; those fees are for the installation of software that runs the system.
While there has been much speculation about an upgraded Autopilot 2.0 system, the price hike doesn’t seem to bring any new hardware or features. Tesla raised the price to better reflect the value of the product, a company spokesperson told Electrek. Whether Tesla was undervaluing Autopilot before or not, it’s hard to justify charging more for an unchanged product. That’s probably why Tesla waited until everyone was distracted by its new 100-kilowatt-hour battery packs to make the move.
An upgraded version of Autopilot is probably coming at some point, though. Tesla is expected to introduce fixes to increase the system’s reliability and accuracy in the wake of a widely publicized crash in which a Model S running on Autopilot collided with a tractor trailer, killing the driver. In his recently-announced second “master plan” for Tesla, CEO Elon Musk also said the company is still aiming for fully-autonomous cars, something Autopilot will serve as the foundation for.
The next version of Autopilot will likely keep the current system’s combination of cameras and radar sensors. Musk has said Tesla plans to rely on radar, rather than the lidar systems used by companies like Google on prototype self-driving cars. He also said earlier this week that Tesla’s v8.0 software update will include an improved version of Autopilot, and that the update is undergoing “final review.”
Check back with Digital Trends to see what capabilities the next version of Autopilot adds, and whether Tesla decides to hike the price again.