Despite Musk promising a breakthrough "by the end of the year" so many times, the FSD is still a beta feature, and Tesla no longer considers it an autonomous driving feature. Instead, it has been demoted to the ranks of driver assist features, requiring human supervision at all times. People who paid for the FSD capability are now facing a dilemma. They cannot replace their car with a newer one because they would have to pay again for the FSD or give up on what has become a very addictive feature. And they constantly fear that a crash or other incident forcing them to buy another vehicle would make their "investment" disappear.
Things got really heated earlier this year when everyone spoke of a demand problem for Tesla. People refusing to upgrade their vehicles were thought to contribute to slow sales precisely because they could not transfer the FSD to a new car. Despite sales going up since then, the FSD transfer was one of the things that Tesla owners wanted the most.
Not surprisingly, some of the most-voted questions for the Q2 earnings call's Q&A session were about the possibility of transferring the FSD capability to another vehicle. Elon Musk likely got tired of being asked the same thing over and over again, so he threw a bone at the crowd. Musk announced that Tesla would allow owners to transfer FSD when purchasing a new car, but only once and only if the order is placed by the end of September. Although a limited offer, this was a huge surprise for both investors and fans.
The decision will likely accelerate sales through September, which is something Tesla wants, considering the exciting new models that arrive in the fourth quarter. It's still disappointing for people who would've liked to transfer FSD to a new Project Highland Model 3 or the Cybertruck. The transfer terms are unknown, so whether this involves trading in the old car is unclear. If that's the case, the offer is less attractive, considering the low trade-in values Tesla offers.
The FSD transferability doesn't address the real problem Tesla owners face. You could add the FSD to a new car by September 30, but it's still lost if a tree falls on it or you crash it in October. For this reason, the FSD subscription is a much better option at $199 per month. You can cancel it anytime and activate it on a new vehicle.