Skip to main content

Tesla’s Auto Shift coming to all Full Self Driving models, confirms Elon Musk

tesla model 3: lede
(Image credit: Tesla)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said that all Tesla cars with ‘Full Self-Driving' (FSD) abilities will have the Auto Shift function as an option. 

That should mean Tesla cars from the latest Model S and Model X to the Model 3 and Model Y will supposedly give drivers the option to never "need to touch the shifter," according to Musk.

For those that don’t know, Auto Shift is a feature for Teslas that allow the electric cars to drive with some level of autonomy, which Elon Musk claims is like “reading your mind."

See more

More accurately it’s an optional setting if you have the FSD option, which lets the car shift gears all by itself — but only when it’s coming out of Park mode.

While Elon Musk has promised the Auto Shift feature will be able to do a lot more, like making three point turns all by itself, shifting out of Park is all it can handle right now.

See more

In other words Autopilot will make a decision to shift into drive or reverse, based on how it needs to start driving. But anything more, like shifting from reverse back into Drive, requires the driver to make the change.

The feature was originally announced back in January, and was confirmed to be available with the 2021 Model S and Model X cars. Provided they have the FSD option. That costs $10,000 up front, or $199 a month as part of Tesla’s new FSD subscription.

Like many new high-end tesla features, including AAA gaming, there was no mention on whether this feature will come to the Model 3 or Model Y. Now Musk seems to have confirmed that it will, again provided that you've paid for FSD functionality.

The same may well be true about the upcoming Tesla Hatchback, since Musk revealed that it would be an autonomous vehicle; it would be a pretty terrible autonomous vehicle if it couldn’t shift out of park to get you going.

There’s just no timeline on when it might arrive. So for the immediate future owners of Tesla’s entry-level cars will just have to operate the gear shifter by hand. Not that it's a particularly difficult job. But future Tesla EV look set to remove that as they continue down the road to full autonomous driving. 

Tom Pritchard

Tom is the Tom's Guide's Automotive Editor, which means he can usually be found knee deep in stats the latest and best electric cars, or checking out some sort of driving gadget. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining that Ikea won’t let him buy the stuff he really needs online.