New Teslas Get Free Trial of Full Self-Driving Option, but There’s a Catch

Did Santa fail to bring you that Tesla you wanted? Well, now you’ve got a new incentive to make your own magic happen: three free months of the company’s questionably named Full Self-Driving Capability feature, as decreed on Twitter by Elon Musk himself. All you have to do is buy a Tesla and take delivery by December 31, 2020, then hope that Full Self-Driving Capability works better than everything else that happened in 2020.

Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Capability system has been a long time coming, with the company finally releasing a “beta” iteration of the system to some customers in October. (Because why spend money on testing with experienced professionals on the safety of a closed track when your customers are willing to take the risk for you—and pay for the privilege to do so?) Tesla has been cagey on the details of exactly what the system can and cannot do, but YouTube videos show the car automatically changing lanes, stopping for stop signs and red lights, and making turns.
As Telsa has given no details outside of Musk’s tweet, we can only assume that the three-month trial will be effective once Full Self-Driving Capability leaves the beta testing stage. While we don’t know exactly what’s behind Musk’s motives, we wager this three-month trial is a last-minute attempt to pump up Tesla’s fourth-quarter sales numbers. Telsa already had to idle the production lines of its Model S sedan and Model X crossover SUV over the holidays, sending some workers home for a week without pay.

Still, if you’re wary of the risk of a system that Tesla notes “may do the wrong thing at the worst time” (and no, we are not making that up—here’s the screenshot), then the electric automaker’s latest incentive may not persuade you to bite the bullet and buy a Tesla before the year ends. That said, even before Full Self-Driving Capability was released in its beta form, the system sold as a $7,000 option, which quickly rose to $8,000 and then $10,000. Full Self-Driving Capability will supposedly be offered as a subscription service as well, but Tesla has said nothing about pricing, which makes this trial offer a rare opportunity to see—for free—just how terrifying or amazing the feature can be.
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