Tesla wants to offer a free trial of its Full Self-Driving (FSD) autonomous driving software to all Tesla vehicle owners in the United States for a month. One condition, however, must be met: the FSD must be “Super Fluid”.
Tesla’s FSD program could provide the ideal solution for promoting its autonomous driving technology through one free month. In the United States, the option costs $15,000 and is still in beta, so it won’t be appealing to everyone. Elon Musk proposed the idea, but he added one requirement before offering the free month of testing: the FSD must be “Super Fluid”.
Economic Impact: Generating Revenue through Tesla FSD Free Trial
The term is intentionally ambiguous. Some FSD drivers find the autonomous driving system to be smooth, while others have encountered issues. Due to Musk’s desire for the FSD to go beyond just making driving safer, he has his own definition. As a result, Tesla drivers are not likely to receive the free month of FSD anytime soon. Nevertheless, at stake is economics: Tesla stands to gain around $300 million in additional revenue for every owner it convinces to buy a FSD.
Based on previously released company data, Tesla’s FSD penetration in North America is estimated to be between 15 and 20 percent. Since Tesla started selling the software in 2016, for a fraction of the current price of $15,000 (with fewer features than in the US), and global adoption would probably be closer to 10 percent.
In order to increase the number of FSD buyers, Tesla could make ownership transferrable to new vehicles and offer free trials. Tesla has always dismissed the first option of making FSD ownership transferable to new vehicles. However, the company is now more receptive to the second option of offering free trials. The fact that Tesla has not yet implemented this trial period suggests that there may still be issues with the FSD’s beta version. Many drivers who currently use the FSD software are training the system without reaping significant benefits. In fact, in numerous cases, driving with the FSD disabled on unmarked roads can be more stressful than driving without it.
Moreover, regulators frequently present hurdles to the FSD’s implementation. For instance, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently initiated a voluntary recall notice to improve Tesla’s software, affecting 300,000 vehicles that have the FSD installed. It is important to note that this is just a software update.