Tesla rebrands 'Full Self-Driving' beta as Autopilot investigations deepen

The "Enhanced Autopilot" package is back, and it looks a lot like FSD by a different name.

Kempten, Allgäu, Schwaben, Bavaria, Germany, may 1st 2022, a black German electric Tesla model 3 fro...
Jaap2/iStock Unreleased/Getty Images

Tesla is bringing back its “Enhanced Autopilot” package for new vehicle purchases, and the features included in it look... very familiar. Most of the options previously available through the “Full Self-Driving” beta package have been shifted over to the Enhanced Autopilot package, and the latter costs just half what Tesla was charging for Full Self-Driving.

Enhanced Autopilot — a term Tesla has used in the past, by the way — includes every Full Self-Driving feature except for the ability to auto-stop at stop signs and traffic lights (h/t Electrek). If drivers do want that particular beta feature, the Full Self-Driving package is still available for $12,000 during checkout. Enhanced Autopilot, meanwhile, rings up at $6,000.

Tesla hasn’t announced anything about this switch-up; you won’t see it unless you’re actually in the process of buying one of the company’s EVs. The quiet change reads as somewhat suspicious, given the intense controversy surrounding Tesla’s Autopilot features.

The extra $6K will get you autosteering at some point in the future, too.Tesla / Screenshot by Input

Autopilot, but... enhanced — As Electrek points out, “Enhanced Autopilot” has been available as an add-on purchase in the past. Basic Autopilot is included in all new Tesla purchases, including features like autosteer and traffic-aware cruise control. Enhanced Autopilot, meanwhile, became a less-expensive alternative to going for the Full Self-Driving package.

Enhanced Autopilot has been offered on and off since late 2020. The new version includes:

  • Navigate on Autopilot
  • Auto Lane Change
  • Autopark
  • Summon
  • Smart Summon

The Full Self-Driving “capability” package includes all that and traffic light and stop sign control. Buyers must be approved for the full FSD suite.

Seems sus — Tesla is trying really, really hard to make the public believe its vehicles will be capable of full autonomy in the near future. CEO Elon Musk has been making this promise for nearly a decade now, though, with no actual release in sight.

Why Tesla would bring back Enhanced Autopilot (and so quietly, at that) when the same options have already been available as FSD is unclear. The company’s autonomous driving features are under federal investigation; perhaps Tesla hopes rebranding these features as something other than “full self-driving” will be more lucrative during that investigation.

It may also be the case that customers simply weren’t willing to fork over $12,000 for the promise of autonomous driving. Cutting the price in half under the guise of a different name could be just what the company needs to increase the adoption rate of these features.