Originally published on CleanTechnica.
Tesla is apparently really eager to get Model S drivers sipping the autopilot kool aid, and it’s kicking efforts into high gear. Model S owners with Autopilot hardware but who did not purchase the option are starting to get in-car popups pitching a free 30-day trial of autopilot.
While Tesla has not shared how many users are biting on the pilot offer or how many of the trial users are then opting into the paid program, the offer will inevitably hook a few more users into using the system.
With loads of recent media hyping up all of the benefits of the early autonomous driving suite, this advertisement could be the straw that breaks the will of many Tesla owners who were debating the option but had not yet made the move to actually pay for the upgrade. Beyond that, this new marketing tactic reveals a bit of what we can expect to see with Model 3, as they will all come with autopilot hardware, with the full functionality waiting just a click (and $2,500) away.
Beyond the obvious sales tactic, what the trial offer doesn’t offer is the base safety functionality that comes with the autopilot hardware suite. This reinforces what Tesla shared for Model 3 — that even the base car without the actual autopilot option paid for would include all of the active safety features of the suite.
This is a critical distinction between Tesla’s approach to designing, building, and selling cars and conventional manufacturers, as it would have been easy to exclude the additional active safety features because they are enabled by autopilot hardware … but Tesla didn’t go that route.
Including the required hardware in all cars produced from now on not only sets Tesla up for potential future revenue, as is being pursued with this trial offer, but also allows Tesla to deliver a much safer vehicle.