Tesla technology rejected by its biggest fans

Tesla technology rejected by its biggest fans

Not many Tesla fans were convinced to pay $8,000 for this novel tech under scrutiny.

Back in March, Tesla and its CEO Elon Musk decided to give owners of compatible vehicles a free month trial of its most controversial software — a driver-assist function called Full Self-Driving.



Though regulators have pointed out that the name of the software is potentially misleading and is linked to a series of serious accidents, the program enacted by Tesla to get more people to try FSD may have not produced the results it wanted.

In a study recently conducted by YipitData and MooMoo technologies, roughly 2% of owners who tried Tesla’s Full Self-Driving went on to actually buy the software. In their research, they found that only 3,500 owners tried the service during the month it was first offered and that only 50 actually converted from the free trials into Full Self-Driving purchases or subscriptions within that same period.

It is unclear whether the 3,500 owners represents the full scale of Tesla’s 12.3 FSD rollout in the United States, or represents the amount of people who actually took up the offer. In Tesla’s Q1 2024 earnings call, Elon Musk revealed that FSD has been pushed to “around 1.8 million vehicles,” with “about half” actually using the function.

Tesla has recently reduced the price of the Full Self-Driving feature from $12,000 to $8,000, and lowered its subscription price from $200 to $99; a big ask considering the current implications that the software and its similarly touted Autopilot feature are facing.



Elon Musk replies and more woes:

The Tesla figurehead has taken to his social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter) to dismantle the claims made by Yipit, claiming that the take rate of FSD is much higher than what they expected.

“I don’t comment on everything, as sometimes I don’t see it and commenting on everything makes it easy to fish for information. The take rate is much higher than 2%. Please,” Musk wrote in his post on X.

There are reasons besides self-promotion for Musk to believe so. Tesla claimed in its Q1 2024 earnings slide deck that its vehicles running its Full Self-Driving software have travelled more than 1.3 billion miles.



The revelation about the Full Self-Driving free trial comes as Tesla is facing the ire from regulators, investors and disgruntled owners over the technologies.

On May 15, a federal judge in California rejected a bid from Tesla to dismiss a lawsuit over claims about Full Self-Driving.

As per Reuters, Judge Rita Lin for the United States District Court for the Northern District of California said that owners can “pursue negligence and fraud-based claims, to the extent they relied on Tesla’s representations regarding vehicles’ hardware and ability to drive coast-to-coast across the U.S.”

The original suit, which was first brought in 2022 by California Tesla owner Thomas LoSavio, was made on the basis that he was led to buy a 2017 Tesla Model S equipped with Enhanced Autopilot and Full Self-Driving Capability based off of claims that CEO Elon Musk made about the technologies; which he thought to be a lifesaver in his advanced age and capabilities.

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