It used to be that self-driving cars were only seen in movies set far into the future. But today, Tesla is making this idea a reality with its vehicle-enhanced autopilot (EAP) and full self-driving (FSD) features. So, which should you get?
EAP offers basic autopilot features, while FSD offers more advanced features at a higher cost. Enhanced autopilot includes auto park, smart summon, and auto lane change, while full self-driving already has these features included together with traffic control and plus autosteer in cities.
The varying features between these programs may sound subtle but have a significant effect on the functionality and automation of the vehicle. Read on to learn more about the differences between these two features, as well as additional information such as the cost, benefits, and concerns regarding each program.
- What Is the Difference Between Enhanced Autopilot and Full Self Driving (FSD)?
- What is the difference between autopilot and enhanced autopilot?
- Is Enhanced Autopilot Worth it for $6 000?
- What does EAP not include?
- Tesla Upgrades That You Can Get for $6 000
- Automation Levels of Enhanced Autopilot vs. Full Self Driving
- Can a Tesla Drive Itself Without a Driver?
- The Progression of Tesla’s Enhanced Autopilot
- How Much Does It Cost To Add FSD to Tesla?
- What's New in Full Self-Driving Capability?
What Is the Difference Between Enhanced Autopilot and Full Self Driving (FSD)?
The difference between enhanced autopilot and FSD can be seen in the degree of automation in each feature, as well as the price differences between the two. While it’s clear that FSD offers more in terms of hands-off driving, it costs more than twice as much as enhanced autopilot.
The table below demonstrates the differences in features and cost of the two programs:
|Full Self Driving
|Enhanced autopilot includes all of the features of both regular autopilot as well as the additional features that come with enhanced autopilot
|Full self-driving has the features of regular autopilot, enhanced autopilot, and the additional features that come with full self-driving
|Enhanced autopilot is far from fully autonomous, and requires human interaction and supervision
|Full self-driving is the closest model yet to a completely autonomous vehicle. It still requires active human supervision but considerably less than enhanced autopilot does
|Enhanced autopilot serves as a simple “upgrade” from the regular autopilot features all new Teslas are installed with
|Full self-driving upgrades “two levels” above the regular features of a Tesla
|Enhanced autopilot costs about $6,000
|Full self-driving costs about $12,000
As you can see, while there are some similarities, the automation level of full self-driving reflects major improvements from the enhanced autopilot. But the price difference certainly raises eyebrows as to whether these differences are worth the investment.
Check out this video for more information on the key differences between the two:
Pro Tip: How can you cancel a Tesla lange change suggestion?
If you’re using Navigate on Autopilot and FSD this tip will come in handy. Whenever a lane change is suggested, you can tap on the screen if you don’t want it to make that change. You might fiddle and be in a hurry to touch it on the screen to cancel it. You can circumvent this by just pressing the turn signal in the opposite direction to cancel the lane change that was suggested. This will save you time and allow you to not let your hands off the wheel.
What is the difference between autopilot and enhanced autopilot?
The main difference between Tesla Autopilot and Tesla Enhanced Autopilot is that the latter offers more features and capabilities than the former.
With Tesla Enhanced Autopilot, you get features like Navigate on Autopilot, Auto Lane Change, and Full Self-Driving Capability.
Navigate on Autopilot lets your car automatically steer, change lanes, and adjust speed in order to follow the GPS navigation. Auto Lane Change helps your car automatically change lanes when it detects a faster lane is available.
And finally, Full Self-Driving Capability gives your car the ability to drive itself in almost all conditions, including city streets and highways.
Is Enhanced Autopilot Worth it for $6 000?
Enhanced Autopilot is definitely worth it for $6 000. You’re getting features that currently are working without any issues. The price difference is too extreme for the features that you’re currently getting with FSD. If you’re driving a lot on highways and like lots of techy stuff, this feature will definitely be worth it!
You never quite know with FSD; in terms of when it will come out and how well it will work (if at all). FSD is potentially years away from being perfect.
If you already own a Tesla with an FSD subscription you can still unsubscribe and buy EAP. For new owners; adding $6 000 to the overall price is going to increase your monthly payment by about $90/month (depending on which features you choose).
EAP is not available as a subscription but FSD is available for $199/month.
If you have FSD and switch/ buy Enhanced Autopilot, the FSD subscription will be lowered to $99/month. You can upgrade EAP to FSD at any time. But Tesla might change this in the future.
What does EAP not include?
Traffic lights and stop sign control. That’s pretty much it. LOL!
Tesla Upgrades That You Can Get for $6 000
- Most expensive paint
- Upgraded wheels
- Acceleration boost
- White Seats
Automation Levels of Enhanced Autopilot vs. Full Self Driving
As of now, there is not a single car on the market that is fully automated. With how new the technology is, as well as the constantly updating regulations placed on these vehicles by the government, no car is fully ready to drive without the supervision of a human behind the wheel.
But they’re getting closer.
When it comes to the automation of different cars, there are actually six stages developed by SAE International (the Society of Automotive Engineers).
Each of these stages has unique levels of automation and human dependence. The fifth stage is the most automated, and the first stage (called stage 0) is the least automated (and the most reliant on human intervention).
Even with Tesla’s incredible advancements, they are still only at Stage 2 per the SAE International standards.
Though it may be called “full self-driving,” in reality, it’s still very far from that feat.
Stage 0 reflects a car that has very little if any, automation. Even when some sort of automation is engaged, you are still the one ultimately doing the driving.
Some examples of stage 0 automated features are:
- Automatic emergency braking
- Blindspot detectors and warnings
- Lane departure warnings
As standard, both EAP and FSD include stage 0 features.
Stage 1 reflects a car with slightly more automation, but the automated functions are still incredibly limited. In stage 1 automation, the driver is still driving and needs to constantly supervise the vehicle’s actions.
Stage 1 automation will still have the warnings and emergency braking systems in place in stage 0 but may also have more advanced features to accelerate or slow down for safety.
Some examples of stage 1 automated features are:
- Lane centering technology
- Adaptive cruise control
Stage 2 automation is the last level in which the driver is still the one doing the driving. Like stage 0 and stage 1, the driver is responsible for supervising the car and may need to do corrective actions; however, the car is doing most of the work.
Stage 2 automation includes the features of stage 0 and stage 1 but may also have the ability, unlike stage 1, to both speed up and slow down as needed.
Some features will include both:
- Lane centering technology
- Adaptive cruise control
This is the category both Tesla’s enhanced autopilot and full self-driving fall under.
Stage 3 automation is the first stage in which the driver is not doing the majority of the driving.
While the driver may still need to supervise the actions of the car, they are not the ones doing most of the driving; rather, they are just along for the ride. There are times in which the vehicle will require the driver to drive, and the car may refuse to drive unless all ideal conditions are met.
Stage 3’s only unique feature is that it may have what is called a “traffic driver chauffeur.” In this, if the vehicle detects traffic, it will take over for the driver.
Stage 4 automation is similar to stage 3 in that the driver is doing very little driving, but is different because the vehicle will rarely if ever, require you to take action and drive without the assistance of automation.
The vehicle can drive itself in most places, in most conditions, but still may require the driver to intervene. Some features of stage 4 automation will include all of the features of lower stages, as well as:
- The local driverless taxi system
- The vehicle may not use steering wheels or pedals
Stage 5 automation is very much the cars of the future we imagine when we think of automated vehicles. These vehicles can drive anywhere, in any condition: be it over a mountain in a snowstorm, or just in a traffic jam in the middle of a city.
This is where Elon Musk intends to take Tesla, but it doesn’t look as though it will be possible any time soon. In addition to technological issues, this would be incredibly difficult to make road-safe and to get approval.
Can a Tesla Drive Itself Without a Driver?
Teslas cannot drive without a driver. The autopilot systems, both standard and advanced, are only capable of level 2 automation. That means they can steer, accelerate and decelerate, but a driver must be present to take control in case of an emergency.
Teslas now come with eight cameras around the vehicle that offer 360° of visibility. They also have 12 sensors to back up the cameras, should one be damaged.
Using these, the car can make suggestions, such as lane changes, but the driver must perform such functions. Therefore, the car is not able to drive on its own.
However, their goal is to create a fully autonomous car that can take you anywhere you need to go without human interaction (other than the initial command).
The Progression of Tesla’s Enhanced Autopilot
Looking online, one of the most common questions regarding the enhanced autopilot features of Teslas seems somewhat confusing: Will Tesla bring back the enhanced autopilot option?
Reading this article, you might be able to guess that the enhanced autopilot option is once again alive and well, yet this has not always been the case.
In fact, over the past few years, Tesla has changed their autopilot options so many times, it has been easy to lose track.
Today, standard “autopilot” comes with all Tesla models post-2019. This means every new Tesla will carry the autosteer and traffic-aware cruise control, while only those who pay for it will receive the “enhanced” features.
Originally, the frequent variations to the autopilot plans were due to rapid advances in autonomous driving technology. With the progressive slowdown in autonomous driving tech development, features are becoming more standardized.
Perhaps fortunately, Tesla has announced its plans to keep enhanced autopilot as an option for the foreseeable future, thus limiting the confusion about if it still exists.
How Much Does It Cost To Add FSD to Tesla?
With the sticker price of Tesla’s ranging anywhere between $40,000 and over $100,000, it is certainly more than a pretty penny. But, then, when considering paying additional for enhanced autopilot or full self-driving, the price goes up even further.
Understanding the variation in prices may be helpful to assess which plan is best for you.
It costs around $12,000 to add FSD to your Tesla when you first purchase the car or they now also offer a monthly subscription of just $199 for those not wanting to pay so much out of pocket. This amount includes installation and is constantly changing.
Tesla sees tremendous value in the future of autonomous driving and the robo-taxi network.
Though it may seem like a lot of money, having your Tesla pre-equipped with this technology will prevent the need for costly upgrades down the line.
How Much Does It Cost To Upgrade From EAP to FSD?
Tesla now allows customers to either pre-purchase enhanced autopilot and full self-driving or to purchase it after already receiving the car. Naturally, choosing an upgrade after the fact will cost you.
It costs around $1,000 to upgrade an older Tesla with the new FSD computer system plus just under $100 a month to upgrade from EAP to FSD.
It costs just under $200 to upgrade from the basic autopilot package to FSD.
Some vehicles are eligible for free upgrades, which users can check on their Tesla screens. You need to have either FSD capabilities already purchased or the Autopilot computer 2.0 or 2.5.
Important to note, however, is that as new features are unrolled, the cost of Full Self Driving is likely to increase.
Though we are unsure when these new features would be released or how much it would change the price of the full self-driving feature, executives at Tesla said that the increase in price would be noted before actually going into effect, but that it would be well worth it.
With that in mind, if you’re considering buying a Tesla in the near future, it would be worth investing in the technology before the prices skyrocket.
Cost and Availability of FSD
The cost of FSD is currently higher than EAP, and it is also currently in Beta testing, which means it is only available to a select group of Tesla owners who have purchased the FSD package.
However, Tesla is continuously working on improving the FSD system with air software updates and expanding its availability to more Tesla owners in North America and other countries such as New Zealand.
Will Tesla Lower the Price of FSD?
Tesla won’t lower the price of FSD because as the technology becomes more advanced, it will cost more to develop and maintain.
Although Tesla reduced the price briefly in 2020, as they add to its features, it’s likely that the cost will rise exponentially.
What’s New in Full Self-Driving Capability?
Full Self-Driving (FSD) offers more advanced features than Enhanced Autopilot (EAP) that allow for a more hands-off driving experience.
With FSD, Tesla vehicles can navigate on- and off-ramps, automatically drive on city streets, and recognize and respond to traffic lights and stop signs.
Additionally, FSD allows for smart summon, which allows Tesla owners to call their vehicle to come to them in a parking lot or parking space using the Tesla mobile app.
Regulatory Approval and Safety Concerns
Before FSD can be made available for wide release, it will need to go through regulatory approval by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and other governing bodies.
Additionally, Tesla is committed to ensuring that FSD is as safe as possible, and will only release the feature when they believe it can be used safely with active driver supervision.
While FSD allows for more hands-off driving than EAP, it is important to note that a fully attentive driver is still required at all times while using the feature.
Comparing EAP and FSD
The main difference between EAP and FSD is the degree of automation in each feature, as well as the price difference.
EAP includes features such as auto lane change, traffic-aware cruise control, and parking assistance, while FSD includes these features in addition to stop sign control, autosteer in cities, and full self-driving capability.
While EAP serves as a simple “upgrade” from the basic autopilot features that come standard in new Tesla vehicles, FSD is the closest model yet to fully autonomous driving.
Tesla Autopilot Hardware
It’s worth mentioning that Tesla vehicles built after October 2016 come with the necessary hardware to enable full self-driving in the future, even if the owner doesn’t purchase the FSD package.
However, the features will only be enabled after regulatory approvals, and with software updates in the future.
What about a used Tesla?
Used Tesla vehicles can also be upgraded to the latest version of Tesla’s Autopilot hardware, however, it may cost extra if the vehicle isn’t already equipped with the necessary hardware.
The cost of the hardware and the Enhanced Autopilot package or the Full self-driving package will vary depending on the vehicle model and the current software version.
How to save on the cost of FSD?
Some Tesla buyers opt for the Enhanced Autopilot option instead of the Full Self-Driving package to save on the added cost.
The Enhanced Autopilot package includes many of the advanced driver assistance systems and related features that are included in the Full Self-Driving package, such as automatic lane changes, traffic-aware cruise control, and parking assistance.
The main difference is that the Full Self-Driving package includes additional features such as stop sign control, autosteer in cities, and full self-driving capability.
FSD Monthly Subscription
In the near future, Tesla plans to offer a monthly subscription fee for the Full Self-Driving package to make it more affordable for Tesla owners. This will allow more Tesla owners to access the advanced features of FSD without having to pay the full cost upfront.
This could be a good option for those who only plan to use FSD for long trips or specific occasions, rather than on a regular basis. However, it’s worth noting that Tesla has not yet announced any official plans for a FSD subscription, so it’s unclear when or if this will be implemented.
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