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Elon Musk requires ‘FSD’ demo for every prospective Tesla buyer in North America

Tesla CEO Elon Musk now requires staff to install and demonstrate the latest version of the company’s premium driver assistance system, known as “FSD” or Full Self-Driving, before delivering vehicles in North America.

“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,” Musk said in an email to employees on Monday. “Almost no one realizes how effective supervised FSD is. I know this may delay down the delivery process, but it is still a necessary requirement.”

Bloomberg initially reported on Musk’s communication, which was also seen by CNBC.

While all new Tesla vehicles include a standard driver assistance technology called Autopilot, the company’s FSD option costs $199 per month for most North American consumers.

Tesla’s FSD system does not enable cars to drive themselves. When utilizing FSD or FSD Beta, drivers must stay alert to the road and be prepared to steer or brake at any time, according to Tesla user manuals.

Owners of FSD can also gain access to the FSD Beta system, which allows them to test and help develop newer driver aid capabilities on public roadways.

Under pressure from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Tesla has issued voluntary recalls in recent years to improve the safety of its Autopilot, FSD, and FSD Beta systems.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In a separate memo emailed to Tesla employees, the business asks salaried and hourly workers to sign up for extra shifts to deliver automobiles to consumers in the last days of the first quarter.

“Join us in delighting customers as they take delivery!” the memo read. “While our production capacity allows vehicle deliveries to be distributed more uniformly throughout the quarter, we still need your support to move, prepare and drive vehicles to customers throughout the end of Q1.”

According to the message, salaried Tesla employees do not receive extra pay for working delivery shifts, but hourly employees are eligible for additional compensation, with their hours often billed to a sales and delivery cost center.

Tesla is under pressure to avoid a decrease in first-quarter deliveries compared to last year. At least one independent researcher, known as “Troy Teslike,” anticipates Tesla will disclose lower statistics, representing at least a 1% decrease in deliveries from 422,875 a year earlier.

On Monday night, Musk announced in a post on X, his social media platform, that “all US cars that are capable of FSD will be enabled for a one-month trial this week.”

Tesla shares fell roughly 30% year to date, closing Monday at $172.63.


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