Tesla brings back ‘Enhanced Autopilot’ driver assistance

Tesla Inc. is bringing back its “Enhanced Autopilot” driver assistance package for $6,000, which will sit between standard Autopilot and the automaker’s $12,000 beta testing software it calls Full Self Driving, despite not having that capability.

CEO Elon Musk confirmed the move on Twitter earlier this month in response to a request from Trevor Page, founder of the Tesla Owners Online forum.

“Tesla needs to bring this back for everyone,” Page wrote on Twitter in response to an article announcing the return of Enhanced Autopilot in Australia and New Zealand. Fully self-driving, Page wrote, “is too expensive for what you get.”

The package is often abbreviated as FSD.

On June 17, Musk replied, “Okay.”

Enhanced Autopilot is now available on Tesla’s US website.

The reintroduction of Enhanced Autopilot could generate sales for Tesla from customers who find FSD too expensive or too inconsistent, but want additional features beyond the standard Autopilot, such as automatic lane changes while navigating on cruise control.

One of the main differences between the two systems is that Enhanced Autopilot is primarily intended for highway use, while FSD includes steering, acceleration, and braking on city streets. The standard autopilot works just like the advanced cruise control offered by most car manufacturers.

Twitter user Troy Teslike, which predicts Tesla metrics such as sales and satisfaction scores, estimates that the percentage of FSD in North America was 14 percent in the first quarter of this year. That’s 50 percent in 2019, when it was less than half the price.

Tesla dissolved its press office two years ago and did not respond to a request for comment from Automotive News

Gary Black, managing partner at The Future Fund, wrote in a social media post last week that Enhanced Autopilot could help Tesla’s margins, “given FSD’s low take rate.”

But Black, who is optimistic about Tesla, also warned that it could cannibalize FSD’s earnings.

Tesla rolled out access to the full FSD beta software over the past year. Previously, only some of the features were available to customers who bought the package. Musk has said more than 100,000 drivers now have access to the full suite of features.