From entertainment apps like Spotify and Netflix to delivery services like Amazon Prime, subscriptions have nestled their way into our daily lives. But will a subscription soon be required to unlock a vehicle’s advanced driver-assist features? As General Motors and Ford expand their hands-free steering systems, the subscription model emerges as the preferred way to offer such technology. Tesla, which has garnered both positive and negative attention with its Autopilot driver-assist system, has also rolled out a subscription service for its Full Self-Driving system. (Tesla doesn’t currently offer hands-free driving for the masses, though reports of beta programs available to select testers depict extended hands-free capability.)
Despite the self-driving or hands-free monikers, and the option to release the wheel in some vehicles, it’s important to note that no true self-driving vehicles currently exist for sale in the U.S.; every vehicle requires drivers to pay attention at all times. Still, driver-assistance systems are quickly evolving to take over more driving duties with the goal of improving safety and reducing fatigue. See how Tesla, Ford and GM’s semi-autonomous features and pricing compare below.