BYD argues self-driving tech is ‘basically impossible,’ ignores Tesla FSD

Credit: BYD

A spokesman for Chinese automaker BYD has argued that self-driving technology is “basically impossible” and should be relegated to industrial applications.

One of the most mind-blowing features currently available on any vehicle is Tesla’s Full Self Driving (FSD) offering, which currently allows thousands of people to make daily transportation more accessible than ever believed possible. Yet, despite Tesla’s incredible success, the technology still faces an uphill battle regarding industry acceptance.

According to a new report from CNBC, a BYD representative at the Shanghai auto show highlighted the company’s dismissal of “self-driving” or autonomous driving technology. “We think self-driving tech that’s fully separated from humans is very, very far away, and basically impossible,” Li Yunfei, a spokesperson for BYD, stated in a comment to CNBC. “When we think about [self-driving tech] from all aspects, from human psychological safety needs, from ethics, from regulation, from technology — including application in this industry — we haven’t figured out [the logic], and we think it is probably a false proposition.”

Concluding their comments, the BYD representative pointed out that “There may be many industries and businesses that invest a lot of money on this [tech], and after investing for many years, it will prove it leads nowhere.” BYD was not immediately available to comment to Teslarati regarding the statements.

Self-driving technology is tightly regulated in China, and level 2 autonomous systems, like Tesla’s FSD offering, are not yet available from automakers. However, only further confounding the BYD spokesman’s comments, earlier this year, numerous Chinese cities, including the country’s Capital, Beijing, granted a large number of permits to domestic and foreign automakers to deploy robotaxis in select areas.

Outside of China, BYD’s argument seems only to lose more ground. Tesla Full Self-Driving has grown in popularity and capability at an incredible rate over the past five years. And now, not only can Tesla’s system navigate simple highway scenarios, but it can even be deployed in dense urban areas. Thanks to the American automaker’s dedication to the software, it only seems to improve by the day.

Luckily for consumers, the sentiment shared by BYD this morning doesn’t seem consistent throughout the industry, as countless legacy makers are currently working toward autonomous driving solutions. Besides Tesla, the current frontrunner in the technology, Mercedes has slowly introduced its level 3 autonomous driving system to numerous global markers. Meanwhile, Ford and GM have funded massive subsidiary projects dedicated to bringing self-driving tech to market as soon as possible.

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William Johnson: Will is an auto enthusiast, a gear head, and an EV enthusiast above all. From racing, to industry data, to the most advanced EV tech on earth, he now covers it at Teslarati.
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