Tesla test drives unlocked by app at unstaffed sites

Electric car brand Tesla is expanding a pilot scheme which allows consumers to enter and test-drive its demonstrators at locations without any staff being present.

The updated Tesla app allows users to book a test drive, upload their driving licence and unlock a Tesla Model 3 or Model Y demonstrator for a one hour slot.

In the future, Tesla plans to have all its test drives across the UK and Ireland managed through the Tesla app, so customers can self-schedule a test drive whenever and wherever is convenient for them from their nearest Tesla location. When their scheduled time arrives, they can simply walk up to the car, unlock it via the app and drive it. 

The program has launched at Tesla’s remote test drive locations in Perth (Scotland), Carlisle, Shannon (Ireland) and Merry Hill in the West Midlands. This is an expansion on its first unstaffed remote test drive hubs in Sweden and Perth (Scotland) from earlier this year.

These test drive locations are completely remote and unstaffed.

Some interaction with a Tesla expert is required, however. Once at the car, prospective customers phone a Tesla call centre which uses the car’s cameras to confirm their identity, and the operator also guides the customer through the car’s features. 

After the test-drive, the driver is simply asked to return the car back to the starting spot, and to plug it back in.

Tesla delivered its one millionth electric vehicle (EV) in Europe, last month, just 14 years after it started making limited deliveries of its Roadster car in 2009.

The brand has surged in popularity since launching the Model 3 and Model Y. This year, the Model Y is both the best selling electric car in the UK and the best selling company car, as BIK taxation benefits and manufacturer incentives continue to tempt company car user-choosers towards the American car brand.

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