Elon Musk says Tesla will give a free month of a Full Self-Driving package to every owner in North America, but only once it is “super smooth.”
The CEO has had a fixation on people “not understanding the value of Tesla’s Full Self-Driving package,” which the automaker now sells for $15,000.
As you can imagine, the option is not a really popular one.
Tesla has never released the take-rate (percentage of Tesla buyers who order the feature), but we deduced that it is between 15-20% based on data previously released by Tesla.
That’s in North America, where Tesla has released its FSD Beta feature. Globally, it is likely closer to 10%, and that’s because Tesla started selling the package in 2016 when it was sold for a fraction of the current $15,000 price tag.
There are two things that Tesla could do that would potentially greatly increase the number of FSD buyers:
- Make FSD ownership transferable to new car purchases
- Offer free FSD Beta trials
Tesla has been extremely reticent to the former even though it has been brought up for years, and it could also help Tesla sell new cars by encouraging owners to upgrade to new vehicles.
As for the latter, Musk said that it is coming, but only once FSD 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.
Of course, “super smooth” is a subjective goal. Some FSD Beta drivers would argue that it is already there, but many don’t have anything close to a “smooth” experience with the system.
It is a really interesting situation from a business standpoint.
At this point, every percentage point of owners that Tesla can convince to buy FSD is likely around $300 million worth of revenue that it can create. The opportunity is absolutely huge.
The fact that Tesla doesn’t do it right now is telling. Tesla knows that it would have issues convincing a significant number of those owners with the current state of FSD Beta. For the most part, people with FSD Beta right now, like myself, are training the system without getting much value out of it. In my own experience, driving off highways with FSD Beta is more stressful than without.
I can see this changing in the future, but just not on Musk’s always “by the end of the year” timeline.
Also, I’d note that there’s a massive difference between driving better with FSD than without versus Tesla’s actual promise of a robotaxi service.