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Tesla is now offering 1-month free Autopilot trials to Model S and X owners

autopilot trials

Tesla has been installing its Autopilot hardware suite in all its vehicles manufactured since October 2014. While all active safety features utilizing the hardware, like auto emergency braking and side collision avoidance, are included in the price of the vehicle, Tesla charges $2,500 for the convenience features like active cruise control and automatic highway steering.

If a Tesla buyer decides not to choose the option when configuring the vehicle at the purchase, since the hardware is already in the car, the person can decide to activate it later through an over-the-air software update for $3,000. Now it seems that Tesla is trying to capitalize on this market by offering a 1-month Autopilot trial to those who didn’t choose the convenience features.

The picture seen below has been circulating on the Tesla forums showing a popup on the Model S’ center console to offer a 1-month free trial:

Experience Tesla Autopilot

Try Autopilot Convenience Features and experience a stress-free commute. This one-month free trial enables automatic steering, speed, lane changing, and parking with Summon. Once your trial begins, you’ll receive an email with instructions for permanently upgrading your Tesla.

Just a few touches on the display can literally enable semi-autonomous driving in your vehicle:

autopilot trial reddit

I predict this initiative, which could fall under the “Puppy Dog” tactic, will be very successful in selling the update to the minority of Tesla owners who didn’t add it when they configured their car.

Once you get used to incorporating the features into your daily commute, I find it hard to believe someone would let them go for a price equivalent to roughly 3-5% of the value of the vehicle.

Featured Image: Photographer David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images and Autopilot trials via Reddit

Recent article on Tesla’s Autopilot:

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  1. Rob - 7 years ago

    Great, auto pop up spam has been born.

    • Bradley - 7 years ago

      Or “freeimum” add-ons. It makes me worried. Or a monthly charge for using your own car…. That’s when the cell antenna gets ripped out.

  2. Nøderak - 7 years ago

    just a few touch should be touches

  3. Oh, I want it on my model 3 when I go for a long ass roadtrip in Europe.
    Hopefully i can rent autopilot for a month? Dont need it later when getting to work.

  4. QC - 7 years ago

    Model 3 is unique in many ways, you could have the supercharger, HUD and autopilot pre-installed in every car (to simplify production) and let the customer enable a particular feature when they want/can. So pay the base model price and three years later make your car feel like new with the autopilot activation and two years later with HUD activation. Another development is the reselling price. You can sell the car and the new owner can activate any of the features and Tesla receives additional revenue even 7 years later.

  5. Debunks my salesman’s assertion that they charge $500 extra after delivery because it has to be activated in the service center so they can verify sensors are all operating correctly.

    • Haggy - 7 years ago

      There are administrative costs and there’s more incentive to activate it when new if it costs less. If you do have it activated at the service center, they will verify that the sensors are operating correctly. This is an obvious change of strategy, but it might be counterproductive not to charge the extra $500. It could get people to leave it off, figuring they could add it on any time they wanted. If there’s no down side to leaving it off and paying later, then why not? Or it might have had the opposite effect and gotten people to buy it prematurely with the expectation that they could add it on later with no penalty. That’s up to their marketing department to deal with.

  6. danfrederiksen1 - 7 years ago

    Check out this Carnegie Mellon research car
    A lot better than Tesla’s current system

    • Haggy - 7 years ago

      Yes, but it’s an unreleased system and you’d have to compare it to Tesla’s unreleased system. The difference is that owners of Tesla’s current vehicles will get much of the new features as automatic free upgrades, but Cadillac owners who don’t have it won’t get any of it without buying a new car.

  7. quiviran - 7 years ago

    Is Autopilot a way to implement their completed vehicle distribution system? Just roll Teslas off the assembly line and have them drive themselves to their owners location? Guess that’s a work around for states that don’t allow showrooms.

    • Haggy - 7 years ago

      Tesla is years away from being able to make cars that do that, but once they do, government regulators would never allow it to happen. Tesla might also have to upgrade enough supercharger stations with automatic charging cables, as there are currently none. I would expect owners would want somebody to be there to show them the car.


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