May 09, 2023 – Tesla, the American electric vehicle company, has announced that it will offer a one-month free trial of its Full Self-Driving (FSD) package to all car owners in North America. The offer is contingent on FSD being super smooth rather than just safe. Currently priced at $15,000 or $199/99 per month in North America, FSD allows for advanced autonomous features such as automatic lane changing, auto park, and summon.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has stated that the company plans to ensure FSD works well on local roads and obtains regulatory approval in the country before expanding to other parts of the world. Musk emphasized that it is essential for FSD to be both safe and smooth to provide the best driving experience.
It is important to note that despite the name Full Self-Driving, the feature is not yet capable of fully autonomous driving and still requires the driver to remain alert and ready to take over the vehicle at any time. Moreover, Musk has not provided a specific timeline for the expansion of FSD beyond North America.
Tesla has not disclosed the percentage of buyers who have ordered the FSD package. According to Electrek, based on data previously released by Tesla, the proportion of FSD buyers in North America is estimated to be between 15% and 20%, and globally it is likely only 10%.
It is unclear why Tesla is offering a free month trial of FSD to all Tesla car owners in North America. However, some speculate that it could be due to the fact that FSD is powered by deep neural networks and is still in the testing phase. This means that Tesla needs a lot of data to train and improve the feature. By offering FSD to all Tesla cars in North America, even for just a month, Tesla can collect a significant amount of driving data. Additionally, this is an opportunity for Tesla to promote FSD and its features, akin to offering a free taste of ice cream to attract customers.
Since November 2022, any car owners in North America who wished to test FSD have had to pay $15,000 to purchase the FSD package. Outside of North America, Tesla has faced restrictions on allowing car owners to use FSD due to more stringent regulations.
In China, while Tesla offers a “Full Self-Driving Capability” option for ¥64,000, car owners can only use features such as AutoPilot (AP) and Enhanced AutoPilot (EAP), including automatic lane changing, automatic braking, and highway on and off-ramp navigation. These features, however, are not equivalent to FSD. Nevertheless, it was reported by Caixin in April that Tesla will soon start a large-scale FSD testing in China, but no further details were provided.