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Tesla launches Autopilot free trial

by Justin King

The company is apparently hoping to drum up sales by enabling the add-on for 14 days for free.

Tesla has launched a promotional program enabling free Autopilot for owners who have not yet opted for the optional upgrade.

The company offers an 'Enhanced Autopilot' package for its entire range of vehicles. The system supports auto lane change, autosteer, traffic-aware cruise control, autopark and summon. It is available for $5,000 when initially configuring the vehicle, or $6,000 as an after-delivery.

Tesla is now offering a free trial for owners who haven't purchased the upgrade, according to a Model 3 Owners Club Twitter post. It will presumably enable the full list of features for 14 days.

The company recently confirmed that it has developed its own AI-optimized Autopilot chips in-house, paving the way for full self-driving functionality. CEO Elon Musk has promised the company will double down its investment in Autopilot.

Speaking to analysts following Tesla's latest quarterly earnings release, Musk voiced confidence the company can avoid further share or bond sales to fund future projects. He is also pushing to make the company privately held after eight years as a publicly traded entity. Encouraging owners to spend an extra $6,000 could unlock additional funds to further develop the self-driving technology.

Free trial of Autopilot for those who haven't purchased it is starting to roll out. 14 days to decide if you want it or not #Model3 #Tesla pic.twitter.com/PVou1sDtTF

— Model 3 Owners Club (@Model3Owners) August 9, 2018