Updated May 8th, 2024 at 07:54 IST

Elon Musk proposed Tesla’s robotoaxi launch in China during April visit

Tesla is said to be seeking permission to commence robotaxi trials in Shanghai, where its largest global factory is situated.

Reported by: Business Desk
Tesla Robotaxi | Image:Tesla Robotaxi concept

Robotaxi in China: Elon Musk reportedly proposed the testing of Tesla's advanced driver-assistance technology in China, with plans to deploy it in robotaxis, during his recent visit to the country, according to sources cited by the state-backed China Daily newspaper on Wednesday.

Officials informed the Tesla CEO that China is open to allowing the company to conduct robotaxi tests within the country, aiming to set a positive precedent, as per the newspaper's sources.


However, approval for the widespread implementation of Tesla's Full Self-Driving (FSD) capabilities in China was not immediately granted, the report added.

Tesla is said to be seeking permission to commence robotaxi trials in Shanghai, where its largest global factory is situated, according to a person briefed on the matter.


Both Tesla and the Shanghai city government have yet to respond to requests for comment on the matter.

This development follows Musk's recent visit to Beijing, where he engaged with Chinese Premier Li Qiang, primarily discussing the rollout of FSD and the potential for Tesla to obtain government consent for the international transfer of crucial data vital to its autonomous vehicle development efforts, as previously reported by Reuters.


FSD, introduced in 2020, represents the most advanced iteration of Tesla's Autopilot software, boasting features such as self-parking, automatic lane changes, and traffic navigation.

Musk has shifted Tesla's focus away from its longstanding goal of producing affordable electric vehicles for the mass market, instead prioritising autonomous driving software, robotaxis, and the development of its humanoid robot, Optimus.


Last month, Tesla mentioned plans for a "purpose-built robotaxi product" with a "revolutionary" manufacturing process, though no specific timeline for its release was provided.

China has emerged as a leader in self-driving technology, with companies like Baidu and Toyota-backed Pony.ai launching robotaxi services across various cities.


(With Reuters inputs)


Published May 8th, 2024 at 07:54 IST