Tesla recently relaunched the Enhanced Autopilot package in the U.S., but how is it different from Full Self-Driving? Every Tesla car produced after September 2014 can access the various levels of Tesla’s Autopilot mode, with Basic Autopilot included on all models. As electric vehicles continue to populate roads and the market, efforts are underway to equip future models with better capabilities to appeal to new consumers. However, issues like driving range, a low number of charging stations, and high maintenance costs currently impede the growth of EVs. Tesla’s Autopilot project seeks to provide drivers with vehicles that are nearly autonomous and can operate without the risk of a collision.
Since Tesla Autopilot’s debut in 2014, the California-based company has rolled out multiple features using over-the-air software updates. Tesla owners don’t need to visit their dealerships to purchase any of the Autopilot packages or upgrade an existing package. All they need to do is use a Tesla account to purchase either Basic Autopilot, Enhanced Autopilot, or Full Self-Driving, and upon confirmation of purchase, the desired software is added. As a way of allowing consumers to get a feel of their innovative products, Tesla allows drivers to try all levels of its Autopilot at any Tesla store.
Although Tesla’s Autopilot is arguably one of the most unique driver-assist packages because of the variety of features, Tesla hasn’t attained full autonomy yet. This means that drivers are expected to stay alert whenever Autopilot is enabled. Tesla currently occupies the top spot on the list of most crashes associated with advanced driver-assist features. This implies that the technology is far from perfect, which is why Tesla says that any of the Autopilot modes must be used with a fully attentive driver. Today, the Basic Autopilot mode comes as a standard feature on all vehicles made after September 2014. The mode offers a couple of fundamental safety features like adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assistance that drivers on a budget will appreciate. On the other hand, the Enhanced Autopilot and Full Self-Driving modes are available at an added cost. Tesla recently restored Enhanced Autopilot in the U.S. and other countries, having fitted it with more features than it offered when it was first introduced.
Should You Get Enhanced Autopilot Or FSD?
A key difference between Tesla Enhanced Autopilot and Full Self-Driving is the pricing. While the former costs $6,000, drivers are expected to pay $12,000 to access the latter. Another difference is that while Tesla’s Autopilot packages require human effort, the Full Self-Driving mode doesn’t require the same amount of driver supervision that Enhanced Autopilot demands. Those using Full Self-Driving will need to commit little effort as the vehicle can stop at traffic signals and steer independently in city streets. However, autonomy isn’t yet absolute and Tesla will continue to update its suite of driver-assist technologies.
The newly-released Enhanced Autopilot comes with all the functionality of Basic Autopilot and includes several FSD features like Navigate on Autopilot, Autopark, Summon, Smart Summon, and Auto Lane Change. Full Self-Driving offers everything provided by Basic Autopilot and Enhanced Autopilot, along with two unique features called Traffic And Stop Sign Control and Autosteer On City Streets. However, Traffic And Stop Sign Control, a feature that identifies stop signs and traffic lights and automatically slows the Tesla to a stop upon approach, remains in a beta testing phase. Additionally, the Autosteer On City Streets feature is yet to be released. For most Tesla users looking for an upgrade, the Enhanced Autopilot package makes the most sense, given that it brings many FSD features for half the price. For users who want their hands on all the new technology Tesla has in store though, the Full Self-Driving package is the better option.