If you’re planning on buying a Tesla, expect to pay a little extra for Autopilot.
The electric car maker raised the price of its semi-autonomous driving system from $2,500 to $3,000, Electrek first noticed. The change went into effect on Tuesday, which is when the company also introduced a new battery option for the Model S and Model X.
Autopilot enables safety features like automatic braking and blind spot warnings. But only Tesla owners who opt to pay the extra $3,000 for the Autopilot convenience features get access to all of the self-driving functions like automatic lane change.
As Electrek points out, the price increase could also hint that new hardware is being introduced to Tesla vehicles for Autopilot 2.0. However, Tesla claims the price was increased to better reflect the value of the system and that no new Autopilot hardware is being built into its cars right now.
Even without new hardware, though, it makes sense that Tesla would give Autopilot a price bump because the system is always getting better.
Tesla is able to push out over-the-air software updates to give its cars new features. When the electric car maker rolls out a new update, Autopilot usually gets some fancy new functionalities.
For example, the company rolled out its last big update, Tesla 7.1, in January and cars with the Autopilot convenience function enabled got more autonomous features, including an automatic lane change function and the ability for users to “summon” their vehicle from its parking spot.
The company is expected to roll out another software update, Tesla 8.0, sometime before the end of the year, and Autopilot is expected to get a host of new features. So even though the company may not be adding new hardware right now, it makes sense that it would increase the price.