Tesla’s Full Self-Driving System Isn’t a Hit With Other Automakers

Were we an automaker, we'd be ignoring Musk's offer too.

For a little over a year, Tesla has been marketing its Full Self-Driving technology (mainly software) to automotive manufacturers at large. The new version twelve (V12) of the software is being touted as ready for deployment. The 45-minute video Elon Musk made (hosted on his X platform) to promote his product, however, was pretty rough and showed clear flaws in the system.

Tesla’s Full Self-Driving V12 is considered one of the best autonomous vehicle platforms in the industry, but still appears far from ready for the public. Not to mention the piles of news stories over the past few years in which the system was blamed for accidents and driving infractions. And government investigations into its marketing and safety.

Recently, Musk once again made calls to other automakers to consider licensing Tesla’s FSD system via X (formerly Twitter) after having mentioned the potential of this during quarterly sales reporting and business meetings. This would be done in a way similar to the opening of the Supercharger Network to other carmakers. A licensing program that has taken off, with nearly all major automakers now planning to switch to the Tesla plug next year.

Unlike the charging network, however, there is no tangible, immediate upside to major automakers jumping on board with FSD licensing. Instead, it would likely be a can of legal worms that could haunt well-established makes for years. Most manufacturers, in hopes of keeping those legal issues minimalized, are instead developing or co-developing their own automated driving systems.

What is unique about Tesla’s offering for FSD, however, is that it would not cost other manufacturers anything to add it to their vehicles. Tesla would just require the consumer to acquire a license to use it (via monthly or annual fees). Or, alternatively, share data and equal Tesla’s pricing to include it as part of the vehicle purchase.

That unique approach might sound like a great deal, but it does nothing to assuage legal fears while simultaneously (in the consumer license case) pushing revenue away from the automaker towards a rival.

On nearly every front, there are no compelling reasons to add Tesla’s automated driving software to a vehicle. The only gains are very short term. And then the headaches would come. Were we an automaker, we’d be ignoring Musk’s offer too.

Aaron Turpen
An automotive enthusiast for most of his adult life, Aaron has worked in and around the industry in many ways. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press (RMAP), the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA), the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA), and freelances as a writer and journalist around the Web and in print. You can find his portfolio at AaronOnAutos.com.