Tesla Is Turning Navigation Into a Subscription Service

Tesla Is Turning Navigation Into a Subscription Service
Image: Tesla

Tesla is transforming the way it offers navigation in its cars. In a Tesla vehicle, navigation will now be subject to a subscription after the first eight years.

Earlier this month, we reported that Tesla was removing emergency chargers from its vehicles in Australia, and before then, we reported on another wave of price increases for the Model 3 and the new Model Y (though these price increases are likely due to supply shortages).

But now, it looks like the electric car company is converting one of its features into an extra.

As reported by Teslarati, Tesla vehicles no longer come with lifetime “standard connectivity”. That means, after eight years, Tesla owners will need to pay a monthly subscription to get inbuilt navigation. Using the native Tesla GPS app in Australia will cost $9.99 per month (which also gets you “premium” connectivity).

“All new Tesla vehicles ordered on or before July 20, 2022, will have Standard Connectivity features at no cost for the lifetime of the vehicle (excluding retrofits or upgrades required for any features or services externally supplied to the vehicle)”, the Tesla Australia website reads.

“As additional features and services become available in the future, you will have the opportunity to upgrade your connectivity plan.”

With the premium version only available for purchase, not the standard version, here’s what extras you get beyond navigation: live traffic visuals, sentry mode, satellite-view maps, video streaming, caraoke, music streaming and the car internet explorer. You know, just the basics, right?

For the record, the premium package was introduced in 2019: Tesla vehicles purchased on or before July 1, 2018 got free lifetime access to premium connectivity.

The Tesla Australia website continues:

“Standard Connectivity is included in your vehicle, at no additional cost, for eight years beginning on the first day your vehicle was delivered as new by Tesla, or the first day it is put into service (for example used as a demonstrator or service vehicle), whichever comes first.”

“If you are purchasing a used vehicle, you will be notified of how long your vehicle will include access to Standard Connectivity. With Standard Connectivity, you have access to most connectivity features over Wi-Fi, in addition to basic maps and navigation and music streaming over Bluetooth.”

Tesla’s navigation subscription plan is… Silly. And, like the removal of emergency chargers from vehicles, it sets a bad precedent for not just the electric car industry, but the car industry as a whole.

If this move by Tesla is seen as profitable and generally a good idea by the rest of the car industry, then we only stand to lose by spending more. This is, of course, made worse by the fact that Teslas don’t have native Android Auto or Apple CarPlay support. If you want to use a GPS in the front end of your car, you must use Tesla’s tech.

The future is now.