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Tesla drops Full Self-Driving option from online configurator to spare ‘confusion’

When you order a Tesla online, you can no longer select the Full Self-Driving (FSD) option from the vehicle configurator.

Previously, when fitting out a Tesla Model 3, for example, if you selected Enhanced Autopilot, a $5,000 option with added driver assistance features, you could also choose Full Self-Driving for future activation for another $3,000. If you upgraded to FSD at a future date after you took delivery, it would cost $5,000.

Last week, however, the Full Self-Driving option disappeared. When Twitter user @TheHott525 asked Tesla CEO Elon Musk (@elonmusk) what happened to FSD, Musk replied, “Also available off menu for a week. Was causing too much confusion.”

Also available off menu for a week. Was causing too much confusion.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 18, 2018

Musk’s reference to “off menu” meant that customers could still ask for the Full Self-Driving option by contacting Tesla directly, but only for another week. His statements about the disappearing option followed Musk’s announcement of a lower-cost Model 3 configuration and the discontinuation of Model 3s with a long-range battery and rear wheel drive.

Musk tweeted, “Model 3 long range, rear wheel drive is still available for ordering off menu for another week or so.”

Model 3 long range, rear wheel drive is still available for ordering off menu for another week or so

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 18, 2018

Enhanced Autopilot includes automatic lane changing, assisted steering with cruise control, side collision warning, automatic parking, emergency braking, and Tesla’s Summon feature that automatically parks and retrieves your car.

The Full Service-Driving option, however, was pre-payment for a future capability promised once the autonomous software was fully developed and validated and received regulatory approval.

Tesla builds the equipment for autonomous driving into all current models, including cameras, radar, ultrasound sensors, and onboard computer hardware. A new chip promised next spring would enhance the power of the system. Without the FSD software upgrade, however, drivers can’t set the vehicles to drive autonomously.

The original FSD description on Tesla’s website promised a lot. “All you will need to do is get in and tell your car where to go. Your Tesla will figure out the optimal route, navigate urban streets (even without lane markings), manage complex intersections with traffic lights, stop signs and roundabouts, and handle densely packed freeways with cars moving at high speed.”

When Green Car Reports inquired about the number of cars sold with the FSD option, Tesla didn’t respond.

Tesla never promised a firm availability date for fully autonomous self-driving software, which could be years hence. “Please note that Self-Driving functionality is dependent upon extensive software validation and regulatory approval, which may vary widely by jurisdiction.”

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