Tesla CEO Elon Musk has announced plans to offer the Full Self-Driving feature as a free 1-month trial to every Tesla owner in North America.
The company plans to extend the programme globally once FSD is deemed safe by Tesla on local roads and is approved by regulators in specific countries. That said, Elon Musk did not say when Tesla owners can access the free trial.
In a reply to a Twitter user who had asked him when Tesla plans to offer FSD subscription in Canada, the executive said that will happen when the ADAS feature is "super smooth."
"Once FSD is super smooth (not just safe), we will roll out a free month trial for all cars in North America. Then extend to rest of world after we ensure it works well on local roads and regulators approve it in that country."
Elon Musk then replied to another user who said FSD is much smoother these days than in the past and labelled his initiative to offer a free FSD trial as "a great idea." The CEO noted that safety comes before smoothness.
"We always prioritize safety over smoothness. After we achieve a higher tier of safety, then we polish the experience. Very important to both both safe and smooth for new users to be comfortable with FSD."
So there you have it, Tesla will give every one of its customers in North America a free taste of its Full Self-Driving software, but not before it makes sure that it's safer and smoother than it is right now.
Interestingly, Musk's comment may also help explain why FSD is a little rougher around the edges at the moment – that's because Tesla prioritises the system's safe operation, and some quick manoeuvres that it needs to perform leave little room for smoothness.
At the moment, Tesla charges $15,000 to US customers who want to buy FSD outright, but buyers can also subscribe to the feature for $199 a month if their car has Basic Autopilot, or $99 a month if it has Enhanced Autopilot.
Tesla has never disclosed the FSD's take rate, but based on data previously released by the automaker late last year – 285,000 customers in North America as of December 2022 – and assuming the cars sold since then have maintained the same take rate, only about 15 to 20 percent of users have bought it.
This probably explains why the EV maker is looking to offer a one-month free trial in North America – to expand the FSD's customer base.