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In a bid to boost sales and revenues, Tesla, the electric car maker, is offering U.S. customers a one-month free trial of its Full Self-Driving (FSD) technology, announced CEO Elon Musk. This comes as the company faces softening demand and increased price competition, putting pressure on sales and margins. Musk has been promoting the FSD software, priced at $12,000, as a potential source of profit for Tesla. However, achieving full autonomy has been a challenge due to regulatory and legal scrutiny of Tesla’s safety and marketing practices.

In a post on social media platform X, Musk announced that all U.S. cars capable of FSD will have the feature enabled for a one-month trial starting this week. He has instructed Tesla staff to provide demonstrations of FSD to new buyers and owners of serviced vehicles, in an effort to showcase the capabilities of the technology. Despite Musk’s enthusiasm for the software, the adoption rate of FSD has been declining in North America, with only 14% of customers purchasing the package in the third quarter of 2022, down from a peak of 53% in 2019.

Tesla’s margins have been impacted by a price war with competitors and lower FSD take rates. The company has warned of slower delivery growth this year as it focuses on producing its next-generation electric vehicles. Analysts believe that Musk’s recent push to demonstrate FSD is aimed at boosting deliveries and revenues, in line with past end-of-quarter tactics. The FSD software, which requires active driver supervision, is also available as a subscription for $199 per month.

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