Tesla has received a crucial partner in China as the automaker works to introduce Full Self Driving (FSD) in China.
Tesla’s FSD offering is easily one of the most critical parts of the business. Serving as both a massive hook for new customers and a fantastic revenue-generating opportunity, FSD is Tesla’s differentiator now and going into the future. Part of that product’s success is making it available to customers in as many markets as possible. Now, Tesla is one step closer to doing just that, receiving an endorsement from the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Economy and Informatization (SMCEI).
The endorsement Tesla received came from a public commitment released by the SMCEI, which was subsequently reported initially by the Global Times on Twitter.
#Shanghai will further deepen cooperation with #Tesla, pushing its layout on #autonomous driving, #robots and other business sectors in the city, said an official from the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Economy and Informatization. pic.twitter.com/1xmnD7Oco5
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) May 12, 2023
As noted in a separate report from CNeVPost, the announcement was also included in a televised tour of the Tesla Giga Shanghai facility earlier today. It should be noted that during the segment, while autonomous vehicle technology was mentioned numerous times (as in the statement above), Tesla’s FSD offering was never explicitly named.
Much like previous reports of Tesla FSD coming to China, the statement from SMCEI was pretty vague but hinted at the possibility of FSD expansion nonetheless. Though more importantly, this statement follows a series of other reports from China, indicating that FSD is coming to Asia’s top market sooner rather than later. Specifically, local media outlet Caixin reported earlier this year that Tesla would begin testing FSD in Shanghai and work with local authorities to introduce the feature.
Caixin’s equally vague report has not been verified by Tesla China or any local government officials.
Caixin reports: Tesla is about to start a large-scale test of FSD Beta in China. pic.twitter.com/irJA2H3r5z
— Chris Zheng (@ChrisZheng001) April 4, 2023
Besides these reports, Tesla has also made more public moves that have hinted at cooperation with local authorities to introduce FSD. Most recently, Elon Musk traveled to Shanghai to meet with officials alongside the newly promoted Tesla executive, Tom Zhu.
Sadly, despite this progress, headwinds for FSD introduction in China remain. The Chinese government requires autonomous driving permits, which aren’t easy to acquire, especially for automakers from outside China. Further, with the recent crackdown on foreign (American) businesses and contractors operating in China, FSD expansion could be more politically difficult than ever.
What do you think of the article? Do you have any comments, questions, or concerns? Shoot me an email at email@example.com. You can also reach me on Twitter @WilliamWritin. If you have news tips, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!