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Tesla FSD Free Trial: Get One Month of Full Self-Driving in the US

Tesla FSD Free Trial: Get One Month of Full Self-Driving in the US

Due to weak demand and price competition putting pressure on its sales and profits, Tesla has announced a one-month free trial of its Full Self-Driving (FSD) feature for U.S. customers.

 On Monday, March 25, Tesla's Musk stated on the social media platform X that all U.S. Tesla cars equipped with the FSD feature will be eligible to start a one-month trial this week.

 

The idea for this promotion was floated last May, with Musk stating that Tesla would give a free month of FSD to everyone in North America as soon as it is “super smooth.”

FSD's Role and Challenges

The FSD system, fully known as Full Self-Drive, is defined on its official website as "Full Self-Driving Capability." It is a paid car software service launched by Tesla in 2021, designed to assist users in driving.

Previously, media reports indicated that Musk mandated employees to offer a "brief test drive" using the company’s latest FSD to new customers before delivering cars. It is known that Musk sent an email to all employees stating the "mandatory" requirement to install and activate the FSD system on Tesla cars and provide test drives for customers.

Additionally, Musk mentioned in a reply to a user's post that the trial would extend to all existing owners who have not yet experienced the FSD Beta.

 

Tesla has always focused on the FSD feature, with Musk previously stating it would be a significant growth catalyst for the company. However, FSD has also been a subject of controversy and legal challenges, especially following fatal accidents involving the feature.

Despite this, Musk has continually emphasized the importance of FSD for Tesla's future. The nationwide rollout of the free FSD trial might increase its penetration among U.S. Tesla users.

This initiative is also seen as one of Tesla's measures to enhance user experience. The free trial of FSD will help consumers better understand its functionalities and performance, thereby boosting sales and customer satisfaction. It also demonstrates Tesla's confidence in its product quality.

Analysts suggest that while this may impact delivery times, in the long run, it could significantly affect Tesla's FSD revenue and overall growth.

Market Dynamics and Tesla's Strategy

For a long time, Musk has claimed that FSD could be a potential profit source for the company, but over the years, his promises of fully autonomous driving have remained unfulfilled amidst stringent regulatory and legal scrutiny of Tesla's safety and marketing.

Previously, the price of the FSD package dropped from $15,000 to $12,000—leading many owners to forego purchasing it. Given the high cost of FSD, Tesla also offered a subscription model, allowing you to try the system for $199 per month. However, the uptake rate has been relatively low. As a result, Tesla has occasionally provided temporary FSD trials to certain customers. It once included three months of FSD as an end-of-quarter sales incentive, and recently, it offered a 30-day trial of Enhanced Autopilot (but not full FSD) for the holidays.

According to insiders, Musk has also demanded in internal emails that Tesla staff offer new buyers and owners with vehicles in for service a test drive experience of the FSD feature.

In his email, Musk wrote: “Almost no one really understands how good (supervised) FSD is. I know this will slow down the delivery process, but it is still a hard requirement.”

Notably, just a few days ago, Musk tweeted that Tesla is "no longer constrained by AI training compute power, and the rate of improvement will greatly accelerate."

This statement suggests that Tesla's Nvidia training compute cluster is performing well, or the Dojo project has made significant progress. Both possibilities are good news for Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) and Autopilot projects, as they indicate that the updates and optimization of the advanced driver-assistance systems will accelerate.

However, according to the well-known “Tesla analyst” Troy Teslike, the "FSD take rate" in North America is declining, with about 14% of Tesla customers purchasing the FSD package in the third quarter of 2022, down from a peak of 53% in the third quarter of 2019.

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