Baidu sees potential in Tesla robotaxi technology in China

Credit: @WholeMars/YouTube

*UPDATE: Baidu has reached out to Teslarati with the following quote: “Tesla recently unveiled its (idea of) Robotaxi. There’s still limited information available regarding its business model, its status post-release, whether it will enter the Chinese market, and when it might do so. From our perspective, we need to further observe its overall application model and the progress of its entry into China. As you mentioned, there might be some potential collaboration opportunities, or as Yunpeng (Baidu Corporate Vice President and President of Intelligent Driving Group) mentioned, we might provide a product for users to choose from within this industry. So, this also requires further consideration,” said Baoqiang Xu, General Manager of Autonomous Driving Technology Department at Baidu.*

Baidu sees potential in using Tesla’s robotaxi technology or Full Self-Driving (FSD) in China. 

Baidu’s General Manager for the autonomous driving department, Xu Baoqiang, told Shanghai Securities News that the auto company would sees potential collaboration opportunities with Tesla.

In early May 2024, the local Chinese government supported Tesla FSD. Elon Musk had allegedly proposed testing Full Self-Driving functions in vehicles already deployed in the Chinese market, like taxis. The Tesla CEO also suggested rolling out the company’s FSD software in Chinese taxi services. 

Baidu and Tesla already have a good partnership in China. Tesla stated that it would use Baidu Maps to develop China’s version of FSD further. 

Late last month, Tesla FSD reportedly received tentative approval in China. At the time, Elon Musk was in China, holding meetings with several people in the local car industry. According to Chinese officials, Beijing had tentatively approved Tesla FSD after it cleared some critical regulatory hurdles in China. 

Tesla is still working on regulatory approval for autonomous vehicles in the United States. Other companies and some states are also working on regulations for autonomous vehicles. 

“There are a handful of states that already have adopted autonomous vehicle laws. These states are paving the way for operations, while the data for such operations guides a broader adoption of driverless vehicles. I think Ashok can talk a little bit about our safety methodology, but we expect that these states and the work ongoing, as well as the data that we’re providing, will pave a way for a broad-based regulatory approval in the U.S. at least and then in other countries as well,” said Lars Moravy, Tesla’s Vice President of Vehicle Engineering. 

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Maria Merano: Veteran writer and editor, who believes harmony between tech and nature is achievable. We just need to learn to compromise.
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