Tesla’s Autopilot Should be Free

Tesla currently charges $5,000 for Autopilot which is peanuts to what they could make if they are the first ones to achieve level 4/5 autonomy. Get these updates at https://teslanomics.co/join

Looking at the Tesla Network ride-sharing program lone, if they were able to capture 20% of the market by 2022 they’d earn nearly all the money they would lose by giving autopilot away for free.

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// What is Tesla Autopilot? (wikipedia)

Tesla Autopilot may reduce accidents due to negligence and fatigue from long term driving.[1]
Tesla Autopilot, later marketed as Enhanced Autopilot after a second hardware version started to be shipped, is an advanced driver-assistance system feature offered by Tesla that has lane centering, adaptive cruise control, self-parking, ability to automatically change lanes without requiring driver steering, and enables the car to be summoned to and from a garage or parking spot. Planned improvements to Enhanced Autopilot include transitioning from one freeway to another and exiting the freeway when your destination is near.

As an upgrade above and beyond Enhanced Autopilot’s capabilities, the company’s stated intent is to offer full self-driving at a future time, acknowledging that legal, regulatory, and technical hurdles must be overcome to achieve this goal.[2]

As of February 2018, Tesla indicates that a demonstration of a self driving coast to coast drive will be ready in three to six months.[3]

Autopilot was first offered on October 9, 2014, for Tesla Model S, followed by the Model X upon its release.[4] Autopilot was included within a “Tech Package” option. At that time Autopilot features included semi-autonomous drive and parking capabilities.[5][6][7] Initial versions of Autopilot were developed in partnership with the Israeli company Mobileye.[8] Tesla and Mobileye ended their partnership in July 2016.[9][10]

In October 2015, Tesla released Autopilot version 7.0 to its customers.[11] In December 2015, Tesla announced that it will remove some self-driving features to discourage customers from engaging in risky behavior. Autopilot Firmware 7.1 made those changes and includes remote parking technology known as Summon that can park and can bring the car to the driver without the driver in the car.[12][13][14]

On August 31, 2016, Elon Musk announced Autopilot 8.0, that processes radar signals to create a coarse point cloud similar to Lidar to help navigate in low visibility conditions, and even to ‘see’ in front of the car ahead.[15][16] Autopilot, as of version 8, uses radar as the primary sensor instead of the camera.[17] In November 2016, Autopilot 8.0 was updated to have a more noticeable signal to the driver that it is engaged and it requires drivers to touch the steering wheel more frequently, otherwise Autopilot will turn off.[18][19] By November 2016, Autopilot had operated actively on hardware version 1 vehicles for 300 million miles (500 million km) and 1.3 billion miles (2 billion km) in shadow mode.[20]

As of October 2016, Tesla said all vehicles come with the necessary sensing and computing hardware, known has Hardware version 2 (HW2), for future fully autonomous operation (SAE Level 5), with software being made available as it matures.[21] The company offers various free/extra-cost options for enabling Autopilot-associated features/services. Autopilot on hardware version 1 cars is available for US$2,500 ($3,000 after delivery). For HW2 cars, Autopilot is available as “Enhanced Autopilot” for $5,000 ($6,000 after delivery) and future full self-driving capability is an additional $3,000 ($4,000 after delivery).[22]

The first release of Autopilot for HW2 cars was in February 2017. It included adaptive cruise control, autosteer that was enabled on divided highways, autosteer on ‘local roads’ up to a speed of 35 mph or a specified number of mph over the local speed limit.[23] Firmware version 8.1 for HW2 began in June 2017 that has many new features including a new Autopilot driving-assist algorithm, full-speed braking and handling parallel and perpendicular parking.[24]

On April 28, 2017, Elon Musk predicted that in around two years drivers would be able to sleep in their Tesla until it finishes the trip.[25]

In the middle of 2017, Teslas planned to demonstrate full self-driving by the end of 2017.[26][27] In February 2018, Tesla indicates the demonstration of a self driving coast to coast drive will be ready in three to six months.[3]