Tesla’s reputation of being a household name for modern, electric cars explains the massive buzz it received during the official launch of its first model introduced in Malaysia, Tesla Model Y. Now that the facelifted Tesla Model 3 (Highland) is just open for booking, buyers interested in Elon Musk’s EV may want to know if the standard Autopilot ADAS is enough, or should they spend extra to upgrade to the optional Enhanced Autopilot and Full Self-Driving (FSD) functionality.
What are the differences between Autopilot, Enhanced Autopilot, and FSD in Tesla cars anyway?
Autopilot – standard for Tesla Model Y and Model 3 (Highland)
Autopilot – present in both models without extra charges – enables your car to steer, accelerate, and brake automatically while keeping the car in the lane. Of course, active supervision from the driver is still required – hands on the steering wheel, ready to take control at any moment. These features are called Traffic-Aware Cruise Control and Autosteer, akin to adaptive cruise control (ACC) and lane keep assist (LKA) in other ADAS suites from other familiar car brands.
In general, standard active safety features for all new Tesla cars include Automatic Emergency Braking, Forward Collision Warning, Side Collision Warning, Obstacle Aware Acceleration, Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane Departure Avoidance, and Emergency Lane Departure Avoidance.
Enhanced Autopilot – optional, upgrade costs RM 16,000
Enhanced Autopilot – available at an additional cost – adds Navigate on Autopilot, Auto Lane Change, Autopark, Summon, and Smart Summon to the existing standard functions.
With Navigate on Autopilot, your Tesla can actively guide itself in and out of highway ramps, suggest lane changes, and navigate interchanges with automatic turn signals. When Autosteer is engaged, Auto Lane Change helps the driver to change lanes. Driver’s active supervision at all times is still required.
Autopark helps drivers to steer and move the car to parallel or perpendicular park autonomously. The Summon function lets you remotely move the car in and out of parking spaces using the Tesla app. Smart Summon is a plus as it can navigate the car around parking lots with COME TO ME command. To use this, you must be within approximately 60 meters of your car, and it is only intended for use in private parking lots or driveways.
Full Self-Driving (FSD) – as autonomous as it can get, for an additional cost of RM 32,000
According to Tesla Malaysia’s website, this system enables your car “to drive itself almost anywhere with minimal driver intervention and will continuously improve.” This upgrade adds Autosteer on City Streets and Traffic and Stop Sign Control (Beta) functions to the above capabilties.
This system is technically capable of reading and detecting road markings, road signs, traffic lights, as well as navigating through city streets. Without much input from drivers, the car can speed up, slow down, stop and go, as well as make turns.
However, Tesla warns drivers to always be in control of the vehicle, pay attention to its surroundings, and be ready to take immediate action whenever needed. This applies to all autopilot functions it offers. On the SAE’s scale of autonomous driving capabilities, all Tesla vehicles still fall under Level 2 autonomous driving.
So, is it worth buying Tesla with the upgrade options in Malaysia?
It’s important to note that at the time of writing, FSD is not yet available in Malaysia. If you have included FSD in your purchase, you will still get the car, but the FSD system will not yet activate until its arrival in the future.
As you may have known, additional functions or upgrades in Tesla vehicles are delivered via over-the-air (OTA) updates. You can purchase Autopilot, Enhanced Autopilot or Full Self-Driving Capability at any time through the Tesla app – and the Autopilot software required will be added to your car.
So, for now, that leaves us with two options that are readily available for use on the road – the standard Autopilot or Enhanced Autopilot. Our review reveals the standard Autopilot performs very well and seems enough to give you the advanced functions Tesla has to offer – save for those fabulous self and remote parking capabilities.
If budget is your concern, it may be best to stick to the standard Autopilot as your hire purchase loan (should you choose this to finance the purchase) will be structured based on the first option you choose. Should you wish to upgrade to Enhanced Autopilot or FSD later, you will need to pay the RM 16k or the RM 32k upgrade respectively and separately in lump sum.
If you want the car to be able to park itself and come find you, go ahead and spend that RM 16k. When FSD is made available for Malaysian Tesla cars in the future, perhaps RM 32k doesn’t seem too big of a splurge to own a self-driving car that has been in development and testing most extensively in the passenger car industry.
Or just use the money to purchase the long-range AWD version instead. The choice is yours to make. All Tesla vehicles can be purchased online via Tesla Malaysia’s official website.