September 25, 2022

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California regulator: Tesla misleads consumers with autopilot ads

Installing sensors is often cheaper, but if then they turn over all cars with a complete option, then the base price will rise sharply, and then people will start to complain again.

Why should the base price go up? Production costs for all versions are the same if you put all components into each version. The manufacturer can choose to display all options at the current base price. After all, producing the basic version costs the same as the full-featured version. It doesn’t suddenly get more expensive if they turn on cruise control in the software.

The whole reason there are different versions at different price points is that the add-on requires different hardware/more costs more, and these costs are passed on with a margin.

With Tesla Autopilot, the software still has to be installed and supported/developed by Tesla, which increases Tesla’s costs and therefore demands a reasonable fee for it. If you as your owner would like to install this functionality outside of Tesla, it will be fine on your purchased devices. But let’s develop good self-driving functionality, or buy it somewhere else, and see what it costs.

But BMW seat heating, literally 1 if the statement in the software is from false to true for you to use, no more support / updates / further development. If you had a dedicated program put in place to be able to use the seat heating without paying BMW, would BMW complain that you were stolen from it because you didn’t pay for the seat heating?

If you make products of different specifications, but make each version the same, because it’s easier and cheaper than making multiple versions, you lose the moral basis in my opinion to order more for the same product.

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Let’s say someone makes a computerized socket, and they have 1, 2 and 4 ton versions, but all versions are exactly the same physical product except for a software limitation that stops the jack if it exceeds the performance limit. So isn’t this nonsense? Just make the 4t version and ask for the base price if you want the volume a lot.

I understand why they do this, they want people to pay more for the same product whenever possible, if those people are willing to pay more, but they don’t want to lose revenue from people who are less willing to pay. But this is not how market forces work.

A certain price point comes with a certain demand, and competition can reduce that demand. As a result, companies also have to compete on price to maintain a sufficient sales market to remain profitable, and prices for consumers do not rise significantly. This is how capitalist market forces should work. And if a major car manufacturer thinks they can easily make money with these kinds of scams, they can be criticized for doing so.