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esla's free trial of Full Self-Driving feature

Tesla is extending a special offer to its U.S. clientele by providing a complimentary one-month trial of its advanced Full Self-Driving (FSD) feature. Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, made this announcement on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, this Monday.

“Every U.S. car with FSD capability will be granted a one-month trial starting this week,” Musk shared on X. He further instructed Tesla staff to offer a demonstration of the FSD feature to potential new buyers and current owners whose vehicles are being serviced. This information was reported by Reuters, which referenced two emails from Musk that were verified by a reliable source.

Musk expressed his belief in the effectiveness of the FSD system, stating, “Very few people truly understand how well FSD functions,” in an email to Tesla employees that was reviewed by Reuters.

This move to boost FSD subscriptions could prove beneficial for Tesla, especially given the decline in its operating margins from 16.8% in 2022 to 9.2% in 2023. The electric vehicle (EV) market is becoming increasingly competitive, and prices are dropping. According to a report by Yahoo Finance citing a note from Goldman Sachs analyst Mark Delaney in November 2023, FSD revenue has the potential to contribute an additional $10 billion to $75 billion annually to Tesla by 2030.

Tesla offers two upgraded versions of its Autopilot system: Enhanced Autopilot and Full Self-Driving. While the standard Autopilot is included in every Tesla vehicle, customers have the option to purchase Enhanced Autopilot for an additional $6,000 and Full Self-Driving for an extra $12,000, as stated on Tesla’s official website. For Tesla owners with the FSD computer 3.0, there’s also an option to subscribe to FSD at a monthly rate of either $99 or $199, depending on the selected Autopilot package.

Despite the advanced features offered by Enhanced Autopilot and FSD, both are classified as Level-2 autonomous driving systems by SAE International. This means that drivers are required to remain attentive and supervise the systems while driving. Tesla describes the FSD system as capable of driving almost anywhere with minimal driver intervention and assures continuous improvement of the system.

Tesla has previously granted access to beta versions of the FSD software as part of its ongoing refinement process for wider release. However, regulatory bodies continue to scrutinize the safety of Tesla’s autonomous driving systems due to numerous lawsuits and reported incidents. According to an analysis by The Washington Post of data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Tesla’s Autopilot system has been linked to over 700 accidents and at least 19 fatalities since 2019.

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