Elon Musk announces Tesla will provide US customers with month-long trial of driver-assist technology

Tesla, the American electric car manufacturer, has announced a one-month free trial of its Full Self-Driving (FSD) technology for US customers. This move comes as the company faces declining demand and increased price competition, putting pressure on sales and margins. CEO Elon Musk has been promoting FSD software, priced at $12,000, as a potential source of profit for Tesla. However, achieving full autonomy has been challenging due to regulatory and legal scrutiny of Tesla’s safety and marketing practices.

In a post on social media platform X, Musk announced that all US cars capable of FSD will have the feature enabled for a one-month trial starting this week. He instructed Tesla staff to provide demonstrations of FSD to new buyers and owners of serviced vehicles in an effort to showcase the capabilities of the technology. Despite Musk’s enthusiasm for the software, adoption rates of FSD have been declining in North America, with only 14% of customers purchasing the package in Q3 2022 compared to a peak of 53% in 2019.

Tesla’s margins have been impacted by price wars with competitors and lower FSD take rates. The company has warned of slower delivery growth this year as it focuses on producing its next-generation electric vehicles. Analysts believe that Musk’s recent push to demonstrate FSD is aimed at boosting deliveries and revenues in line with past end-of-quarter tactics. The FSD software requires active driver supervision and is also available as a subscription for $199 per month.

The free trial is expected to attract new customers who are hesitant about investing in such advanced technology without trying it out first. It could also help Tesla improve its customer experience by providing them with an opportunity to experience the benefits of full self-driving technology firsthand.

Despite these challenges, Tesla remains committed to promoting its innovative technologies and expanding its market share in the automotive industry. With continued innovation and investment in research and development, Tesla is poised to lead the way towards a more sustainable future powered by clean energy solutions.

By Samantha Johnson

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