Tesla is taking steps to launch FSD Beta in China | Electrek

August 29, 2023

Tesla is starting to take steps to launch Full Self-Driving Beta in China, but there are likely some hurdles ahead.

For how much we are complaining about Tesla’s Full Self-Driving package and FSD Beta in North America, we have it good compared to Europe and China, where Tesla has launched even fewer promised features under the package.

Tesla has been selling the Full Self-Driving package, which now costs $15,000, for the better part of a decade now, but it has yet to deliver on the package’s promise to eventually enable autonomous driving through over-the-air software updates.

It is the closest to that goal in North America, where owners have access to FSD Beta, but the feature requires driver attention at all times.

Tesla has yet to have the feature adapted to other markets and have it approved by regulators, including in China, which is Tesla’s biggest market outside of North America.

Earlier this year, Tesla CEO Elon Musk visited Chinese officials, and there were rumors that he was pushing to facilitate the launch of FSD Beta with regulators.

Now local media outlet 36kr reports that Tesla is currently hiring a new team to manage the rollout of FSD Beta into the Chinese market (via Cnevpost):

The US electric vehicle (EV) maker is planning to form a local operations team of around 20 people initially to bring FSD into the Chinese market, local media outlet 36kr said in a report today.

Furthermore, Tesla is also hiring a new team of data labelers in China to help train its neural nets on Chinese roads with different road signs and infrastructure.

The automaker is looking to hire “hundreds” of data labelers, according to the report.

Electrek’s Take

While there is credibility to the report, I don’t think you should hold your breath.

On top of the technical side of things, which is no easy task, it is likely going to be an uphill battle to have the regulator approve it. I wouldn’t expect a launch until next year, but that’s just a guess.

Tesla is financially incentivized to launch FSD Beta in China since it has a fleet there of hundreds of thousands of vehicles that could buy the FSD package to get access to the new features.

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Tesla is taking steps to launch FSD Beta in China | Electrek