FSD: New Question (I Think)

Dan Detweiler

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#1
So like many, I am vacillating back and forth on purchasing FSD or not on delivery. I tend to look at it as an insurance policy against price increases for any additional software or possibly hardware that might be needed down the road to reach true Level 5 Autonomy.

But...what exactly are they promising if we purchase it now? Specifically, what does the contract actually say if you purchase it now with regard to future unseen needs to bring it to fruition? Is Tesla spelling out in writing that they will provide any and all upgrades, both software and hardware, required to bring the car to full self driving capability if and when it becomes available?

Of course FSD is a gamble at this point as nobody truly knows if it will happen or when. But it sure would be a lot easier gamble to take if we knew, for sure that our $3000 now meant that there would be absolutely no additional cost in the future. Any current owners that have purchased FSD care to share what your contract says about this? It would sure help me make my decision on what to do. Thanks.

Dan
 

Ken Voss

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#2
So like many, I am vacillating back and forth on purchasing FSD or not on delivery. I tend to look at it as an insurance policy against price increases for any additional software or possibly hardware that might be needed down the road to reach true Level 5 Autonomy.

But...what exactly are they promising if we purchase it now? Specifically, what does the contract actually say if you purchase it now with regard to future unseen needs to bring it to fruition? Is Tesla spelling out in writing that they will provide any and all upgrades, both software and hardware, required to bring the car to full self driving capability if and when it becomes available?

Of course FSD is a gamble at this point as nobody truly knows if it will happen or when. But it sure would be a lot easier gamble to take if we knew, for sure that our $3000 now meant that there would be absolutely no additional cost in the future. Any current owners that have purchased FSD care to share what your contract says about this? It would sure help me make my decision on what to do. Thanks.

Dan
Yes, I am struggling with the same decision. On one hand it is probably something I would add later when it becomes available so saving 25% by buying it now is a pretty big discount but that is only the case if two things happen
1- There is assurance that it will actually work with current hardware or alternatively hardware will be upgraded an no cost to me. I now Elon has said as much in a tweet but he says a lot of things in Tweets that don't happen
2- It becomes available in the next 2-3 years, if the wait is much longer it is as not attractive to prepay in my opinion
 
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#3
Your purchase agreement for FSD will be your binding agreement to the total price for this product/feature set, so whatever needs upgrading will be on Tesla. If it is never fulfilled, then you have consumer rights and can take meditating action (maybe more) if it's never delivered. Timing is not fixed, as it depends a lot on regulation and approval - so assume two years to roll out all elements required.

This isn't the latest version, but the agreement is very similar to this: https://3.tesla.com/assets/pdf/v4_model3_order_agreement_en_US_20170519.pdf

Additionally, full (level 5) autonomy is not what is described on the website, sounds like level 3. The driver can do tasks other than drive, if legal, but needs to be available to respond to the vehicles request to intervene. Here is the key section from https://www.tesla.com/autopilot?redirect=no describing the functionality:

"The system is designed to be able to conduct short and long distance trips with no action required by the person in the driver’s seat..." "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 you arrive at your destination, simply step out at the entrance and your car will enter park seek mode, automatically search for a spot and park itself."
 

John

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#4
Here's an alternative plan that I'm following.
It sounds like you have the $3000 and don't mind tying it up.
Buy $3000 of TSLA stock and wait until FSD is ready.
Just my opinion, but I think you'll have enough to buy FSD, whatever the price.
P.S. Don't take stock advice on a forum like this.
P.P.S. But do it.
 
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#5
Here's an alternative plan that I'm following.
It sounds like you have the $3000 and don't mind tying it up.
Buy $3000 of TSLA stock and wait until FSD is ready.
Just my opinion, but I think you'll have enough to buy FSD, whatever the price.
P.S. Don't take stock advice on a forum like this.
P.P.S. But do it.
Yes I'm doing the same thing.
 

Poobah

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#6
For me there are two reasons I'm NOT getting FSD, one generic and one specific to where I live:
1) I don't truly believe (blasphemous words on this forum:)) that FSD will be fully autonomous anytime soon, even in Elon time. I'm a software engineer, so know a thing or two about complex SW problems. To truly have FSD, they have to solve ALL the corner cases (unusual scenarios) that a typical driver faces every day. These include (but are not limited to) low visibility, sun glare, poor lane markings, traffic lights/signs, pedestrians/bicyclists, and the biggest of all, idiot drivers. ALL of those have to be solved AND the ethical/political issues have to be resolved as well. Who is responsible (and pays) when FSD fails to avoid an accident? What does FSD do when "choosing" between the lives of others and potentially saving the life of the occupant of the car? This is a LONG road to FSD that we are on, and coughing up $3,000 to get very little or nothing for many years doesn't make much sense to me.
2) The state where I live (Maryland) offers a $3,000 tax credit for purchasing EVs, but only if the total purchase price of the car is under $60K. Adding FSD puts the purchase price over that $60K threshold, so adding FSD really costs me $6K. If I choose to add it later, it's "only" $4K.
 

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#7
I tend to look at it as an insurance policy against price increases for any additional software or possibly hardware that might be needed down the road to reach true Level 5 Autonomy.
I will be getting it for the reasons you mention and because it gets financed with the car. Tesla can say it's a $4K after-sale upgrade now but if the law requires 9 cameras, 13 ultrasonic sensors or any number of items the car doesn't have they will not be bound to honor that statement. All other auto makes will be lobbying VERY hard to make the regulations impossible for Tesla to follow. If that happens it would be a huge financial blow and leave Tesla in a very bad position. I'm hoping, betting (with my $3K), praying and dreaming of a day where that doesn't happen, Tesla turns on the system, and I can watch my car drive itself. I love the idea of pulling up to the front door of a business, getting out and letting the car go find a parking space!

Plus I do believe in Tesla and want to support the company, an extra $50 a month in a car payment isn't going to kill me. I fully realize the regulations and activation may not happen for sometime, however I have faith that Almighty Elon will always be pushing the edge of the envelope to turn this on ASAP! I truly believe that this one car is going to be a huge paradigm shift in the global auto industry unlike anything ever seen (with an exception for the Model T) and I want to be right up front, riding the wave!
 

MelindaV

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#8
2) The state where I live (Maryland) offers a $3,000 tax credit for purchasing EVs, but only if the total purchase price of the car is under $60K. Adding FSD puts the purchase price over that $60K threshold, so adding FSD really costs me $6K. If I choose to add it later, it's "only" $4K.
based on what you listed in your signature, your sale price WITH FSD would be $58,000 ($55k with just EAP), so this really would only come into play if you waited and opted for Dual, but all the 'first available' options add up to no more than $59,500.
(total sale price should not include tax/licensing/etc, just the sticker price).
 

Dan Detweiler

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#9
Your purchase agreement for FSD will be your binding agreement to the total price for this product/feature set, so whatever needs upgrading will be on Tesla. If it is never fulfilled, then you have consumer rights and can take meditating action (maybe more) if it's never delivered. Timing is not fixed, as it depends a lot on regulation and approval - so assume two years to roll out all elements required.

This isn't the latest version, but the agreement is very similar to this: https://3.tesla.com/assets/pdf/v4_model3_order_agreement_en_US_20170519.pdf

Additionally, full (level 5) autonomy is not what is described on the website, sounds like level 3. The driver can do tasks other than drive, if legal, but needs to be available to respond to the vehicles request to intervene. Here is the key section from https://www.tesla.com/autopilot?redirect=no describing the functionality:

"The system is designed to be able to conduct short and long distance trips with no action required by the person in the driver’s seat..." "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 you arrive at your destination, simply step out at the entrance and your car will enter park seek mode, automatically search for a spot and park itself."
Ok, I have often been called an idiot so if I am just being true to form then I apologize, bit I don't see anything in that purchase agrement specific to FSD. It just all seems vague and uncertain to me.

Dan
 

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#10
Ok, I have often been called an idiot so if I am just being true to form then I apologize, bit I don't see anything in that purchase agrement specific to FSD. It just all seems vague and uncertain to me.

Dan
You are correct, there is not and never will be a "contract" in specific regards to the FSD option. It's one of those items you are either willing to buy on faith and hope Tesla makes good someday, or decide not to buy it and roll the dice that maybe they will offer it for $4k after the fact. Either way it's an uncertain proposition.
 

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#11
For me there are two reasons I'm NOT getting FSD, one generic and one specific to where I live:
1) I don't truly believe (blasphemous words on this forum:)) that FSD will be fully autonomous anytime soon, even in Elon time. I'm a software engineer, so know a thing or two about complex SW problems. To truly have FSD, they have to solve ALL the corner cases (unusual scenarios) that a typical driver faces every day. These include (but are not limited to) low visibility, sun glare, poor lane markings, traffic lights/signs, pedestrians/bicyclists, and the biggest of all, idiot drivers. ALL of those have to be solved AND the ethical/political issues have to be resolved as well. Who is responsible (and pays) when FSD fails to avoid an accident? What does FSD do when "choosing" between the lives of others and potentially saving the life of the occupant of the car? This is a LONG road to FSD that we are on, and coughing up $3,000 to get very little or nothing for many years doesn't make much sense to me.
This is spot on. I'm not an expert on the current state of autonomous driving, but I've been a police officer, prosecutor and am still practicing law and try to stay up on some of the regulatory processes when it comes to self driving cars. Actually just went to a presentation by the Department of Revenue in Kansas a few weeks ago about prepping for that future. The number of things that must be taken into account simply from a regulatory perspective (let alone software, testing, insurance/liability concerns by the manufacturer, etc.) is way more than a lot of people might even dream of, including quite a few noted above. While the Kansas state government is at least working on this issue, the reality of level 5 is measured in years, if not decades, here. I would imagine California and a few other states are probably further ahead, and other states could poach some of their ideas to speed the process, level 5 IMO is a pretty long ways off.
 

Dan Detweiler

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#12
You are correct, there is not and never will be a "contract" in specific regards to the FSD option. It's one of those items you are either willing to buy on faith and hope Tesla makes good someday, or decide not to buy it and roll the dice that maybe they will offer it for $4k after the fact. Either way it's an uncertain proposition.
That was my thought. Thanks for the confirmation and clarification for those of us that are letigiosly challenged!

Dan
 
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#13
A purchase agreement has a line item for FSD, so if never fulfilled you have consumer protection / meditation options to get that back. I'm sure if Tesla say it can't be done, they'll proactively do the right thing.

@mdfraz, hopefully there is some federal legislation to come and save the states resources? Within the next 3 years would be nice, but not holding my breath at the current leadership's ability to conceive and follow through with good ideas...
 

mdfraz

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#14
A purchase agreement has a line item for FSD, so if never fulfilled you have consumer protection / meditation options to get that back. I'm sure if Tesla say it can't be done, they'll proactively do the right thing.

@mdfraz, hopefully there is some federal legislation to come and save the states resources? Within the next 3 years would be nice, but not holding my breath at the current leadership's ability to conceive and follow through with good ideas...
Obviously there is an interplay between federal and state laws when it comes to highways and rules of the road, but states still have a LOT of control over speed limits and other aspects of driving. Not only that, what also needs to be considered and hashed out is liability issues. Tort law is a little different in every state as well, and one big issue when it comes to FSD is that the most culpable (only culpable???) party when a car drives itself is who built the car and/or the software.

I do not want at all to be political here, but I will say I don't want the federal government telling every single state how to handle their traffic rules and tort/insurance issues. I don't have a clue how or when it will all shake out, but I can't see FSD as something that will become useful for many years down the road.
 

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#15
based on what you listed in your signature, your sale price WITH FSD would be $58,000 ($55k with just EAP), so this really would only come into play if you waited and opted for Dual, but all the 'first available' options add up to no more than $59,500.
(total sale price should not include tax/licensing/etc, just the sticker price).
The MD tax credit form says "total purchase price not exceeding $60,000" not purchase price before taxes or MSRP. Therefore, I interpret that as including all fees. If I go with FSD and interpret it wrong, I'm out $3K. If I don't get FSD, I fall under $60K even with all taxes and fees, so there is no interpretation needed and I qualify for the credit.
 

MelindaV

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#16
The MD tax credit form says "total purchase price not exceeding $60,000" not purchase price before taxes or MSRP. Therefore, I interpret that as including all fees. If I go with FSD and interpret it wrong, I'm out $3K. If I don't get FSD, I fall under $60K even with all taxes and fees, so there is no interpretation needed and I qualify for the credit.
the same question was on Tesla's forum with a responder there having an answer from MD state on how the credit is calculated. So not only is tax not included (because it is essentially a credit on your sales tax), but if you are trading in a car, its value is also not included in the "sale price" (but please check in to confirm for yourself.)
"The MD excise tax is essentially the MD sales tax (6%). I asked the MVA for the definition of total sales price and this is what they said.
"A vehicle purchased from a licensed dealer is assessed excise tax based on
the total purchase price. Total purchase price means the price of a vehicle
agreed on by the buyer and the seller, including any dealer processing
charge, less an allowance for trade-in. Manufacturer rebates are taxable,
however dealer rebates and discounts are not. All rebate, trade-in, or
discount information must be clearly marked on the bill of sale."
So, for a new Model 3, I think the total purchase price would be the total price of the car plus options plus the delivery and destination charge LESS the value of your trade-in should you be trading in a vehicle.
So, if you are buying a First Production Model 3 with all options then I believe you would exceed the $60K limit factoring in a $1200 destination/delivery charge. If you are trading in a vehicle then you would be fine.
Note that since this an excise tax credit, you get reimbursed immediately. You fill out the form and they mail you a check. This is not something that you have to wait until tax time to take advantage of like the Federal Tax credit.

As someone pointed out earlier in this thread, funds for this program are very limited ($1.2M per year) so it's best to submit your form as soon as possible after purchase."
 

Poobah

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#17
the same question was on Tesla's forum with a responder there having an answer from MD state on how the credit is calculated. So not only is tax not included (because it is essentially a credit on your sales tax), but if you are trading in a car, its value is also not included in the "sale price" (but please check in to confirm for yourself.)
"The MD excise tax is essentially the MD sales tax (6%). I asked the MVA for the definition of total sales price and this is what they said.
"A vehicle purchased from a licensed dealer is assessed excise tax based on
the total purchase price. Total purchase price means the price of a vehicle
agreed on by the buyer and the seller, including any dealer processing
charge, less an allowance for trade-in. Manufacturer rebates are taxable,
however dealer rebates and discounts are not. All rebate, trade-in, or
discount information must be clearly marked on the bill of sale."
So, for a new Model 3, I think the total purchase price would be the total price of the car plus options plus the delivery and destination charge LESS the value of your trade-in should you be trading in a vehicle.
So, if you are buying a First Production Model 3 with all options then I believe you would exceed the $60K limit factoring in a $1200 destination/delivery charge. If you are trading in a vehicle then you would be fine.
Note that since this an excise tax credit, you get reimbursed immediately. You fill out the form and they mail you a check. This is not something that you have to wait until tax time to take advantage of like the Federal Tax credit.

As someone pointed out earlier in this thread, funds for this program are very limited ($1.2M per year) so it's best to submit your form as soon as possible after purchase."
Thank you for the clarification ... this may alter my thinking, but I doubt it. I still have problems spending $$ on something that is likely to take a long time to get (full FSD capabilities)

Of course, this is the same person who put down $1K sight unseen and have waited 1 year nine months and counting to get a Model 3! I guess I'm willing to wait for SOME things!!
 
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#18
A LOT of people purchased FSD on Model S/X more than a year ago and they've had nothing to show for it. That's a long time to provide a free loan to Tesla. Its a software upgrade, pay for it when/if it becomes available. Current AP shows they're not close to FSD level.
 

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#19
A LOT of people purchased FSD on Model S/X more than a year ago and they've had nothing to show for it. That's a long time to provide a free loan to Tesla. Its a software upgrade, pay for it when/if it becomes available. Current AP shows they're not close to FSD level.
Not questioning if pre-ordering FSD in advance or when it becomes available is the best thing for each individual but I do want to point out that pre-ordering is absolutely NOT a "Free Loan to Tesla" Ordering it say in March 2018 for $3,000 and getting it say 2 years later in March 2020 with a value of $4,000 is like making 16.5% APR interest on your $3,000 "LOAN". There are clearly some big unknowns but if it were to be available in roughly 2 years and if you were planning to buy FSD anyway this would be considered a very good ROI.
 

ng0

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#20
Not questioning if pre-ordering FSD in advance or when it becomes available is the best thing for each individual but I do want to point out that pre-ordering is absolutely NOT a "Free Loan to Tesla" Ordering it say in March 2018 for $3,000 and getting it say 2 years later in March 2020 with a value of $4,000 is like making 16.5% APR interest on your $3,000 "LOAN". There are clearly some big unknowns but if it were to be available in roughly 2 years and if you were planning to buy FSD anyway this would be considered a very good ROI.
I agree, but you never know how long it will take to finish implementation and more importantly regulations to get pushed through the political process. It could be 5-6 years for all we know (I hope not!). There's definitely a risk factor either way. Depending on what returns you get on your investments, that may be a better bet.

Personally I'm not even considering FSD right now unless there's some kind of huge announcement from Tesla with firm dates before I configure. I feel like 3K will be more painful now than 2-3 years from now especially after the huge expense of this car. Also, I'm not sure if anyone's mentioned it, but no one has clarified if FSD will be taxed if you add it later. If not then that could be over $300 of cost savings on the $4k.