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Elon Musk announces Tesla will provide US customers with one-month trial of driver-assist technology on Business News


Mar 26, 2024

Tesla, the electric carmaker, announced that it will be offering a one-month free trial of its Full Self-Driving (FSD) technology to customers in the United States. This initiative comes as Tesla faces softening demand and increasing price competition, putting pressure on its sales and margins. CEO Elon Musk has been a strong advocate for the FSD software, priced at $12,000, as a potential source of profit for the company. However, he has faced challenges in delivering on his promise of full autonomy due to regulatory and legal scrutiny of Tesla’s safety and marketing practices.

In a post on social media platform X, Musk stated that all U.S. cars capable of FSD will be enabled for the one-month trial starting this week. Additionally, he instructed Tesla staff to provide demonstrations of FSD to new buyers and owners of serviced vehicles. Musk emphasized the effectiveness of FSD in an email to employees, highlighting that many people are not aware of how well supervised FSD actually works.

Research shows that the “FSD take rate” in North America is decreasing, with only about 14% of Tesla customers purchasing the package in the third quarter of 2022, down from a high of 53% in the third quarter of 2019. Tesla’s margins have been impacted by a price war with competitors that began over a year ago. The company has also projected lower delivery growth for this year as it shifts focus to producing its next-generation electric vehicles.

Analysts suggest that Musk’s directive to demonstrate FSD is part of a strategy to boost deliveries and revenues at the end of the quarter. The FSD software, available for a subscription fee of $199 per month, is not designed to make Tesla vehicles fully autonomous and requires active driver supervision. The free trial offer and other marketing efforts by Tesla reflect its ongoing efforts to maintain competitiveness in the electric vehicle market.

By editor

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