Home / News / Technology / Tesla Offers Free Trial of FSD Technology After Autopilot Controversy Resulted In 2 Million Vehicle Recall
3 min read

Tesla Offers Free Trial of FSD Technology After Autopilot Controversy Resulted In 2 Million Vehicle Recall

Last Updated March 27, 2024 5:28 PM
James Morales
Last Updated March 27, 2024 5:28 PM

Key Takeaways

  • In December, Tesla was forced to recall 2 million vehicles over autopilot safety concerns.
  • Now, the carmaker is offering drivers a free trial of its full self-drive (FSD) software.
  • But can the trial boost adoption in the face of stubborn regulatory resistance?

Since 2020, Tesla has been rolling out its full self-drive (FSD) technology to more and more vehicles. Yet at the cost of $199 per month, many Tesla owners opt against installing FSD on their vehicles. To help boost adoption, on Tuesday, March 26, CEO Elon Musk announced a free one-month trial of the software for drivers in the US. 

While Tesla continues to push autonomous driving as a central component of its long-term business strategy, a recent vehicle recall order suggests regulators have no intention of relaxing strict rules designed to ensure drivers are ready to take over at any time.

Road Safety Regulator Orders Tesla Software Patch

In December, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) ordered  Tesla to recall more than 2 million vehicles to update a system that is supposed to ensure drivers are paying attention when using Autopilot – Tesla’s freel driver assistance software that comes preinstalled on all vehicles.

The agency said its investigation found Autopilot’s method of making sure that drivers are paying attention could lead to “foreseeable misuse of the system”.

To remedy the situation, it required Tesla to implement a software patch to “further encourage the driver to adhere to their continuous driving responsibility.”

Despite the NHTSA’s reservations about letting drivers relax too much, however, Tesla continues to double down on FSD.

Tesla to Offer Free Trial of FSD

In a post on X, Musk implied that the free FSD trial will be available to US-based Tesla owners so that they can experience the technology first hand.

According to reports , he has also pushed Tesla sales staff to give demonstrations of FSD to new buyers and owners bringing their vehicles in for servicing. “Almost no one realizes how well FSD actually works,” Musk said in an email encouraging employees to promote the technology.

Non-US Markets Block Driverless Vehicles

Currently, Tesla’s FSD is only legal for use in the United States and Canada.  

While the company sells vehicles with FSD capabilities in Europe and China, regulations prevent fully autonomous driving features from being activated. 

Lawmakers in the EU and UK are looking into how legislation can be introduced to pave the way for technologies like FSD, but for now, European markets continue to block self-driving technology.

Was this Article helpful? Yes No