Tesla FSD opportunity: China launches smart expressway designed for Level 4 self-driving

Credit: Tesla Asia/Weibo

The stars seem to be aligning for Tesla FSD Beta’s upcoming rollout in China. Apart from the EV maker’s apparent preparations for the upcoming rollout of FSD Beta to the domestic market, China is also ramping its efforts to prepare its infrastructure for autonomous vehicles. 

While Tesla’s FSD Beta program has been around for almost three years in the United States, the initiative is yet to be rolled out in China. Over the past months, however, there have been apparent signs that the advanced driver-assist solution is being prepared for a rollout in the country. 

Back in August, a report from Chinese publication 36kr suggested that Tesla was looking to form a local operations team that would be tasked to bring FSD to the domestic market. The report also noted that Tesla would be setting up a data labeling team in China comprised of hundreds of workers. More recently, speculations suggested that FSD Beta would make its debut in Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen.

China is already the world’s largest market for electric vehicles. And as per recent reports, it appears that the country is also investing its resources to prepare for the advent of autonomous cars. As per a report from Xinhua News, China recently opened a 56-km (34-mile) smart expressway designed for self-driving vehicles. 

The expressway is situated near the city of Suzhou, in the eastern province of Jiangsu, and it features 270 sets of sensing devices, including laser radars, millimeter-wave radars, cameras, and antennas. A 6.5-km (4-mile) section of the expressway is specifically designed for Level 4 autonomous cars, which can perform all driving functions except in certain conditions.

In a demonstration test, a 49-ton unmanned truck was able to successfully identify obstacles on the road, including moving cars. The vehicle was also able to complete driving behaviors such as ramp entry, lane changes, and overtaking maneuvers. Interestingly enough, such capabilities are present in FSD Beta despite the system still being widely considered as a Level 2 solution. 

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Tesla FSD opportunity: China launches smart expressway designed for Level 4 self-driving
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