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Is Tesla Set to Dominate China’s EV Market with Baidu’s Help?

The news that Tesla, a leading American electric vehicle (EV) company, is collaborating with Baidu to upgrade its mapping software in China has recently become a hot topic. A Tesla official explained, “Tesla’s fully autonomous driving system is being developed further through collaboration with Baidu.”

The collaboration between Tesla and Baidu is being interpreted as a cornerstone for more easily receiving regulatory approval from authorities when Tesla launches Full Self-Driving Capability (FSD) in China in the future. This suggests that the launch of the FSD service in China is not far away, and the response from local consumers is said to be truly beyond imagination. Let’s take a look at the detailed news related to their collaboration.

Baidu To Provide Lane-Level Navigation To Tesla Vehicles In China

Recently, Baidu announced that it would provide lane-level navigation services to Tesla vehicles in China. According to media reports, Baidu can provide drivers with more accurate and detailed information and create safer driving conditions by providing this service. Baidu has been providing map services to Tesla since 2020, but the maps it has provided so far are said to have been limited to street-level.

Street-level services have been criticized for being less accurate than lane-level services. In response, the performance of Tesla’s FSD function is expected to further improve by providing lane-level map services. Baidu said, “With our lane-level map support, Tesla’s navigation can accurately render lane changes on the road the user is currently driving on.” The company added, “Navigation has now been upgraded from providing street-level guidance to lane-level guidance.”

Will FSD Be Launched In China Soon?

In April 2024, news broke that Tesla is taking steps to register FSD in China. In detail, Elon Musk reportedly proposed testing Tesla’s FSD function on vehicles deployed in the Chinese market during his visit to Beijing in April 2024. Musk reportedly proposed testing FSD in Chinese taxi services.

At the end of April, it was reported that Tesla’s FSD had received provisional approval in China. Musk even mentioned during Tesla’s first quarter 2024 earnings call that the FSD should work everywhere with some country-specific training. Judging from Musk’s remarks, it is expected that there is a high possibility of FSD services being launched in China.

Only Autopilot Provided Due To Chinese Regulations

Due to Chinese data regulations, Tesla is currently providing the autopilot function in China and has been unable to launch the FSD service. According to relevant regulations in China, all autonomous driving systems must acquire mapping-related qualifications before operating on public roads. Moreover, if a foreign company wants to enter China, it must form a partnership with a licensed Chinese company.

By joining hands with Baidu, Tesla has increased its chances of receiving regulatory approval in China. If Tesla officially launches FSD service in China, it is expected that Tesla will be able to significantly increase sales in the world’s largest EV market.

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