Tesla to Register Full Self-Driving Software with Chinese Authorities


Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) is preparing to register its Full Self-Driving (FSD) software with Chinese authorities, advancing its plan to launch the feature in China this year, according to Reuters.

The electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer is considering selling the FSD software to Chinese users on a monthly subscription basis. If Tesla successfully registers the software with China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, it can begin internal testing of FSD on public roads in China. Upgrades will then be offered to customers in the coming months.

Currently, Tesla provides two versions of its Autopilot driver assistance system in China. The company offers access to FSD for a one-time fee of 64,000 yuan and may introduce a monthly subscription option for approximately $98 in the future.

Tesla is also exploring the possibility of licensing FSD to other automakers in China. This move could open a new revenue stream, especially as Tesla’s sales volume in China fell 7.6% in the first four months of 2024 due to intense price competition with local EV makers.

Tesla is ramping up efforts to enhance its self-driving system using data collected and processed in China. The company plans to roll out version 12 of its FSD software, aiming for fully autonomous driving. Tesla will join at least 10 other automakers and suppliers, including Huawei and Xpeng, that offer level-two autonomous driving capabilities in China. Unlike Tesla, which charges for FSD, competitors like Li Auto and Xpeng provide similar systems for free on high-end models, while others like Nio offer free trial periods.

Level-two systems, including FSD, still require attentive drivers, but Tesla claims that fully autonomous vehicles are imminent. The company plans to reveal details about its robotaxi program in August. Tesla’s AI model, an end-to-end neural network, differs from traditional rule-based algorithms, potentially enabling faster learning and more human-like decision-making. Huawei and Xpeng are also developing similar AI models for autonomous driving.

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