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Musk mandates demo of self-driving feature on all vehicle deliveries

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Elon Musk is requiring employees to activate and demonstrate Tesla’s new “FSD” or Full Self-Driving system upon delivery of vehicles, according to multiple media sources

The FSD system, despite its name, is not fully autonomous. FSD, Autopilot, and Enhanced Autopilot features should be used with a fully attentive driver whose hands are on the wheel, according to Tesla’s website

The website claims the autopilot feature can navigate a vehicle on a highway, auto lane change, and auto park while the FSD feature can additionally autosteer on city streets and identify stop signs and traffic lights. 

Tesla recalled millions of vehicles last year over its autopilot feature and FSD features. The company released software remedies for the FSD and Autopilot features following the recalls. 

There have also been lawsuits filed over the technology, one of which Tesla won in court late last year. A jury determined Autopilot wasn’t responsible for the crash at issue that killed one person and injured two others.

The company’s vehicles come installed with the Autopilot feature. Customers are required to purchase the FSD option for $199 per month. Customers using the FSD option have access to an FSD Beta system. 

Musk mandated the installation of the FSD feature via an email to employees Monday, according to CNBC

“Going forward, it is mandatory in North America to install and activate FSD V12.3.1 and take customers on a short test ride before handing over the car,” CNBC says Musk wrote in the email. “Almost no one actually realizes how well (supervised) FSD actually works. I know this will slow down the delivery process, but it is nonetheless a hard requirement.”

Employees were also asked to sign up for additional shifts to help deliver cars to customers in the last days of the first quarter, the article says. 

Later on Monday, Musk posted on X that U.S. cars will be enabled for a one-month trial of FSD. 

According to CNBC, Tesla is projected to see a drop in vehicle deliveries in the first quarter. Also, as of Monday, the company’s shares had declined by about 30% year-to-date. 

Musk told investors during an earnings call earlier this year that the company’s vehicle volume growth rate could be lower in 2024. He said his team was focused on a next-generation electric vehicle to be released in mid-2025, according to Reuters

Reuters says Musk is working on an entry-level $25,000 EV that could compete with cheaper gasoline vehicles. 

“Musk had first promised to build a $25,000 car in 2020, a plan he later shelved and then revived,” Reuters said. “Tesla’s cheapest offering, the Model 3 sedan, currently has a starting price of $38,990 in the United States.”


Photo courtesy of baileystock/iStock

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