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Tesla has reduced the price of its Full Self-Driving premium driver assistance option by 50% in the United States.

Tesla has made an impactful decision by reducing the price of its Full Self-Driving premium driver assistance option by 50% in the United States. The subscription price for the premium driver assistance system has now been lowered for U.S. customers to $99 per month, down from the previous $199 rate. This surprising price cut goes against previous statements from CEO Elon Musk, who had indicated that the cost of Full Self-Driving would only increase as Tesla added more features and functionality to the system. Musk had previously mentioned that the value of Full Self-Driving could exceed $100,000 per vehicle as it progressed towards full autonomous capability. However, despite the branding, the current Full Self-Driving option does not render Tesla vehicles fully autonomous or functional as robotaxis.

In an effort to boost consumer trust and provide transparency, Tesla has included messages on some drivers’ touchscreen displays in their vehicles regarding the capabilities and limitations of their Full Self-Driving (Supervised) system. The system is designed to perform tasks such as lane changes, following navigation routes, avoiding obstacles, and making turns, but it requires an attentive driver to operate safely. Tesla uses sensors in the steering wheel and cabin cameras to monitor driver attentiveness and will audibly alert drivers if they need to focus on the road. This initiative aims to ensure that drivers understand the level of autonomy provided by Tesla’s driver assistance systems and the importance of remaining alert while using them.

While Tesla continues to innovate in the driver assistance space, other companies like Alphabet-owned Waymo are making significant strides in the development of commercial robotaxi services. Waymo has already launched robotaxi services in several U.S. cities and has partnered with Uber Eats for driverless food delivery. Similarly, companies like Didi in China, Wayve in the U.K., and Amazon’s Zoox in the U.S. are also testing robotaxi services. This competitive landscape underscores the growing interest and investment in autonomous driving technologies across the globe.

In a recent move to showcase the capabilities of Full Self-Driving, Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk mandated that all sales and service staff install and demonstrate the system for customers before they receive their vehicles. Additionally, the company offered a one-month free trial of Full Self-Driving to all customers in North America. However, feedback from owners regarding the latest version of Full Self-Driving has been mixed, with some impressed by the technology and others expressing safety concerns and opting out of the free trial. Despite the ongoing developments and marketing events, such as the planned unveiling of a new dedicated robotaxi, Tesla has not provided clarity on whether the recent price reduction for Full Self-Driving is a permanent or temporary change.

As the landscape of autonomous driving continues to evolve, the decisions made by Tesla regarding the pricing and functionality of its Full Self-Driving system will play a crucial role in shaping the future of driver assistance technologies. By offering more affordable access to advanced driver assistance features, Tesla aims to make autonomous driving capabilities more accessible to a broader range of customers.

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