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The increase comes on the heels of Tesla making Autopilot standard and won't exactly thrill buyers who can't buy before May. However, there is a reason for the move: Tesla is showing off its next-gen driverless technology, which comes in tandem with a new computer, at an investor meeting on April 22nd. The company appears to have a better sense of the price of autonomy now that it's closer to becoming a practical reality, and it's passing that cost along to newer customers.
There is good news: Tesla still intends to upgrade existing Full Self-Driving buyers to the newer hardware, and Musk expects the upgrades to happen in “a few months.” You won't be hosed if you buy a car now — you might just have to get the feature later than people buying cars with the latest hardware installed at the factory.
Starting May 1
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 13, 2019