Tesla giving compatible cars one month of free ‘Full Self-Driving’ tech

Thousands of drivers will get to try Tesla’s “Full Self-Driving” technology (which, despite its name, does not make a car fully autonomous) for free for one month. The company is rolling out the feature to compatible cars via an over-the-air software update, according to CEO Elon Musk.

Musk made the announcement on X, formerly known as Twitter. Most of the cars that Tesla has recently built are compatible with Full Self-Driving technology, though the feature isn’t enabled if it’s not paid for. However, many older models can’t receive Full Self-Driving.

Like any free trial, whether it’s from Amazon, your local brewery, or Netflix, the aim is to get consumers to spend money. Someone might try Full Self-Driving for a month, like it, and order it. As of writing, it’s one of Tesla’s most expensive options: It adds $12,000 to the cost of a new Model 3, though owners can also subscribe to it via the infotainment system’s touchscreen for anywhere between $99 and $199 per month.

As a bonus, beaming Full Self-Driving to motorists across American roads promises to give Tesla engineers a massive amount of data to analyze as they make gradual improvements to the technology. Full Self-Driving has gone through numerous evolutions since its launch.

In what appears to be a leaked internal email, Musk instructed the brand’s dealers to give buyers an overview of how Full Self-Driving works by going on “a short test ride” before they take delivery of a new car. “Almost no one actually realizes how well (supervised) FSD actually works,” he wrote. He added that this is “a hard requirement.” The email noted that the test ride is mandatory across North America, which includes Mexico and Canada, but Musk’s original post on X specified that only drivers in the United States will get the one-month trial. The many established owners who suddenly get the feature presumably won’t get a test-ride demo.

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