Elon Musk: Tesla Full Self Driving subscription coming in 2021

Tesla could start offering its pricey self-driving system as a monthly subscription next year, according to Elon Musk.

Tesla's $10,000 Full Self Driving (FSD) add-on is a luxury that many people can't necessarily afford up front, even for those with enough money to buy a Tesla in the first place. 

But there might be an easier way to buy the feature next year, according to Tesla CEO Elon Musk. 

A person who said they were leasing a Tesla told Musk on Twitter about his issue with purchasing FSD when he didn't own the car. The $10,000 outlay just didn't make sense when leasing, he said. 

Musk replied that an FSD subscription will be available in early 2021.

"Absolutely. We will release FSD subscription early next year," wrote Musk.

While a subscription may be a little easier to handle for such a big-ticket software feature, it still could be better for consumers to stump up the cash in one go. After airing plans to offer FSD as a subscription earlier this year — like software-as-a-service — Musk said it would still be better for consumers to pay upfront for the feature.

"I should say, it will still make sense to buy FSD as an option as in our view, buying FSD is an investment in the future," told investors, per Elektrek

"And we are confident that it is an investment that will pay off to the consumer — to the benefit of the consumer. In my opinion, buying FSD option is something people will not regret doing."

After announcing a $1,000 price rise for FSD to $8,000 in July, Musk argued that FSD would eventually be worth $100,000. In other words, get in early and you'll get a high-priced software feature that will actually be worth a lot more when it's complete. 

Today, however, FSD is still a very early beta that allows drivers to automatically handle city streets, traffic lights, roundabouts and street turns. While impressing early adopters, Tesla advises drivers not to become complacent when using the technology. The technology has only been released to some customers in the US.