Tesla confirms it is in talks with major automaker for potential FSD licensing

Credit: @WholeMars/YouTube

Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) may not necessarily be supported by conventional reviewers like Consumer Reports, but it appears that the system could start making its way to non-Tesla vehicles in the coming years. As confirmed by company executives during the first quarter 2024 earnings call, Tesla is currently in talks with a major automaker for a potential FSD licensing deal. 

Tesla typically answers shareholder questions submitted on investor communication platform Say during its earnings calls. This time around, one of the questions asked if any legacy automaker has contacted Tesla about the possibility of licensing FSD in the future. Elon Musk responded to the inquiry by confirming that Tesla is indeed in talks with one major automaker about FSD licensing. 

“We’re in conversations with one major automaker regarding licensing FSD,” Musk said. He later noted that it is becoming more and more evident that a vision-based approach is the right path to autonomy. Since Tesla’s vision-based approach does not require specialized equipment, adopting FSD should not be a very complicated matter. 

“It really just becomes a case of having them use the same cameras and inference computer and licensing our software. Once it becomes obvious that if you don’t have this (FSD) in a car, nobody wants your car. It’s a smart car… The people don’t understand all cars will need to be smart cars, or you will not sell, or nobody would buy it. Once that becomes obvious, I think licensing becomes not optional,” Musk noted

While the idea of another automaker licensing FSD is exciting, the actual rollout of FSD in a non-Tesla vehicle is likely still years away. This is because veteran carmakers typically take a lot of time in their product cycle. Thus, even if Tesla secures a deal with another automaker for FSD licensing today, an FSD-equipped non-Tesla will probably be ready in about three years — and that’s with a very eager OEM. 

“In the conversations which we’ve had with some of these OEMs, I just want to also point out that they take a lot of time in their product life cycle. They’re talking about years before they will put it in their product. We might have a licensing deal earlier than that, but it takes a while,” Tesla Financial Officer (CFO) Vaibhav Taneja said. 

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Tesla confirms it is in talks with major automaker for potential FSD licensing
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