Tesla CEO Elon Musk is calling for more employees to participate in the testing of Autopilot Hardware 3, with offers of discounts on the table for those who will sign up.
Tesla claims that Autopilot Hardware 3 will be the “world’s most advanced computer for autonomous driving,” enabled by a neural network. The testing program for the system started in September, with an invitation to hundreds of employees who had their Tesla vehicles retrofitted with the new computer.
Musk wrote in an email to employees that the Autopilot Hardware 3 testing program still requires “few hundred more internal participants,” Electrek reported. Musk also noted in the email that Autopilot Hardware 3 has over 1,000 percent more capability compared to the Autopilot Hardware 2, ramping up interest in the new computer.
To make signing up for the testing program attractive for Tesla employees, the $8,000 price tag for the Full Self-Driving Capability package will be waived. The offer, according to Musk, is on a first to purchase basis, and will no longer be offered as soon as there are enough testers in the program.
The apparent difficulty to get workers on the program may be due to the fact that not all Tesla employees can afford Tesla vehicles, but the company is doing something about that, too. In another email, Musk said that because only the premium interior option is available for the Model 3, Tesla will also waive the $5,000 cost for that option, making the company’s cheapest vehicle even more affordable for employees so that they can help test the Autopilot Hardware 3.
It is a win-win situation for both Tesla and its employees, as the company stands to gain valuable feedback and data from Autopilot Hardware 3 testing, while its workers may enjoy up to $13,000 in discounts for buying a Tesla vehicle.
Tesla’s Autopilot system has seen its fair share of controversy, particularly due to crashes while the feature is activated. Musk was upset with the bad press against Autopilot, so Tesla started releasing quarterly Autopilot reports to prove the safety of the system.
Tesla is aiming to release Autopilot Hardware 3 within the first half of 2019. The new computer is then expected to enable full autonomy by the end of next year.
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