Tesla robotaxi tests in China reportedly gets support from local gov’t

(Credit: Tesla Asia/X)

Tesla reportedly received some support from the Chinese government to test its robotaxi concept with Full Self-Driving (FSD) in China. 

According to China Daily sources, Tesla CEO Elon Musk proposed testing Full Self-Driving functions within vehicles deployed in the Chinese market. Tesla would deploy its vehicles as taxis in China. Musk also suggested rolling out the software to Chinese taxi services. 

Musk has described Tesla’s robotaxi service as a combination of Airbnb and Uber. The robotaxi fleet will be operated by Tesla. Some of the cars will be owned by Tesla. Others may be owned by an end user, who will be able to add or subtract their vehicle from the Tesla robotaxi service at any time. End users may also limit the number of customers who use their Tesla as a robotaxi service. For instance, they may only accept rides from five-star customers.

Chinese officials allegedly told Musk that Tesla was welcome to conduct robotaxi tests in China and hoped it would set a good example. Industry experts have noted that China has continued to welcome global companies to test their technologies for mutual gain.

Tesla’s Full Self-Driving tests in China would confirm Musk’s words during the Q1 2024 earnings call. At the time, Musk stated that with country-specific training, FSD should work anywhere in the world. 

“So, think about the end-to-end neural net-based autonomy is that just like a humanit actually works pretty well without modification in almost any market. So, we plan on — with the approval of the regulators, releasing it as a supervised autonomy system in any market that — where we can get regulatory approval for that, which we think includes China. So, yes, it’s — just like a human, you can go rent a car in a foreign country and you can drive pretty well.

“Obviously, if you live in that country, you’ll drive better. And so, we’ll make the car drive better in these other countries with country-specific training. But it can drive quite well almost everywhere,” said Musk. 

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Tesla robotaxi tests in China reportedly gets support from local gov’t
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