Tesla owners have the chance to contribute to a safer future for drivers, while also getting paid for it.
Technological developments are advancing at a rapid pace and in the automotive space, Tesla aims to define the future of smart car technologies. The MIT wants to study how advanced vehicle technology impacts real-world scenarios, how drivers use or dismiss various technologies and how to promote safer driving overall.
More specifically, MIT's AgeLab wants to watch Tesla owners drive so it can observe the difference Tesla technologies make, and it will pay drivers who agree to participate in the study.
"Our goal is to make drivers safer and ultimately to save lives," says MIT AgeLab postdoctoral associate Lex Fridman. "As a Tesla owner, you are driving a car that is defining the future of intelligent vehicle technologies. Your participation will help make that future safer."
MIT will pay qualifying drivers up to $1,000, and there's also the chance to earn some more cash through referrals. Each Tesla owner you successfully refer will bring you another $200, with a successful referral meaning that they sign up for the study.
MIT's AgeLab is starting the initiative in the Boston area with Tesla Model S and Model X drivers, but may expand its scope later on. All cars included in the study must have the Tesla Autopilot feature enabled, or be Autopilot-capable.
The researchers want to observe just how Tesla owners interact with the technologies and whether the safe driving features actually result in safer driving. Just having a car with safety features does not suffice - it's also important that the driver uses them properly.
To observe how Tesla owners integrate, learn and interact with Tesla technologies, the research team will install small, removable monitoring equipment in each participating vehicle. Such monitoring equipment will consist of GPS, webcams and a telemetry sensor.
The payments will be broken down in stages throughout the process. Tesla owners who participate in the study will get $150 for the "initial instrumentation," which involves the installation of necessary equipment, $50 for each month they participate, $50 for each time they let researchers access the vehicle and another $50 for completing interviews and questionnaires.
The $1,000 is an estimate of how much a Tesla owner could earn over the course of one year of being involved in the study.
For more information, you can contact MIT's AgeLab by sending an email at email@example.com.