China rolls out autonomous testing approval to nine automakers

Credit: NIO

China has begun issuing approvals to test advanced autonomous driving software, starting with a group of nine automakers and ahead of Tesla’s expected launch of Full Self-Driving (FSD) sometime this year.

On Tuesday, the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) announced that nine automakers have been given approval to test Level 3 autonomous driving systems. The news also comes as Tesla prepares to launch its FSD Supervised in the country sometime this year, according to recent reports.

Tesla plans to leverage data center in China to train self-driving algorithm: report

The approvals were granted to the following companies: Nio, BYD, Changan Auto, GAC, SAIC, BAIC BluePark, China FAW Group, SAIC Hongyan, and Yutong Bus. The program officially lets these automakers join China’s pilot program, letting them conduct autonomous vehicle testing on certain restricted roads.

The approvals were deliberated upon by four Chinese ministries, including the MIIT, the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, and the Ministry of Public Security. Following the application and early approval of automakers for the pilot program, the automakers will next start generating and using the data from the pilot to help support legislative, regulatory, and technical standards, along with the development of each company’s own software.

“In the next step, the four departments will advance the implementation of the pilot in an orderly manner in accordance with the overall requirements and work objectives of the pilot, accumulate management experience based on the pilot evidence, support the formulation and revision of relevant laws, regulations, and technical standards, and accelerate the improvement of intelligent networked vehicle production access and road transportation,” writes the MIIT in the announcement.

“The safety management system promotes the high-quality development of my country’s intelligent connected new energy vehicle industry.”

The news comes after Tesla in late April gained tentative approval in China for its FSD Supervised, considered a Level 2 automated system due to it requiring driver attention at all times. New wording in Tesla employee vehicles in the region has suggested that the company could launch FSD soon. Just a few days ago, a report from Reuters said that Tesla is actively trying to register the software in China, and it’s expected to launch FSD sometime this year.

Meanwhile, Tesla is set to launch its upcoming robotaxi platform based on FSD in August, along with an upcoming ride-sharing platform that the company has already hinted at.

What are your thoughts? Let me know at, find me on X at @zacharyvisconti, or send us tips at

China rolls out autonomous testing approval to nine automakers
To Top