Xpeng executive names unlikely challenge for Tesla FSD in China

Credit: Arash Malek/X

An Xpeng executive has a good idea of what might be Tesla’s biggest challenge for the rollout of its Full Self-Driving suite in China, and it might not be what you’d expect.

Tesla is working toward rolling out its Full Self-Driving suite in China after it landed regulatory approval in a preliminary sense several months ago. Described as tentative approval, Tesla is inching closer to being able to test its semi-autonomous driving functionality in the world’s largest automotive market.

While there are some likely competitors in the form of domestic companies that have been developing their own programs to attempt to alleviate a driver’s responsibilities behind the wheel, Xpeng’s head of Autonomous Driving, Li Liyun, said Wednesday on Weibo that Tesla will face an unlikely challenge: 300 million e-scooters.

The e-scooter market in China is astonishingly large, and many cities do not have dedicated lanes for non-motorized vehicles. The U.S. has bike lanes in many cities and towns, giving them their own space on the road that helps them share the road with vehicles.

This simply is not as present in China, and Liyun believes that the shortage of dedicated lanes in the country will present an interesting challenge for FSD.

Liyun said that road conditions in China are much more complicated than in the U.S., and it may take some time for the company’s FSD suite to gain the experience needed to safely operate on the roads.

According to China’s CNEV Post, Liyung sees the notable presence of these types of vehicles in China giving Tesla headaches early on. The e-scooters are used in many cities as they are a reliable and efficient means of transportation for citizens who can complete all of their daily tasks without a car.

There are over 350 million electric scooters in China, according to Ministry of Industry and Information Technology data.

Liyun’s comments come just days after Xpeng CEO He Xiaopeng said he was “truly impressed by the significant progress [of] FSD” as he rode the Tesla suite in California. He also experienced Waymo, which he said operated better in downtown San Francisco.

Xpeng CEO bullish on autonomy in Tesla FSD (Supervised) review

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Xpeng executive names unlikely challenge for Tesla FSD in China
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