Skip to content
Home » Elon Musk Touches Down in Beijing to Clear the Way for Tesla’s FSD

Elon Musk Touches Down in Beijing to Clear the Way for Tesla’s FSD

Elon Musk

From Reuters, in a surprise visit shrouded in secrecy, Elon Musk has touched down in Beijing to lay the groundwork for Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) capabilities to finally go live in China. The CEO is expected to meet with senior Chinese officials to discuss both the rollout of FSD and potentially score approval to transfer data collected by Tesla’s Chinese fleet abroad to train the self-driving algorithms.

Grace Tao, Tesla’s Global VP in China, who outlined an ambitious vision for how self-driving vehicles will reshape the automotive industry while catalyzing rapid growth across the new energy vehicle sector.

Tesla AI Research Scientist, Foundation Models, Autopilot AI

Related: Driving Towards True Autonomy: Inside Tesla’s Push for Self-Driving Cars

See, while Tesla released its most advanced autonomous driving software FSD in the US way back in 2019, it has yet to bring those capabilities to Chinese customers. That’s because Chinese regulators currently require data collected by Tesla’s vehicles in the country to remain stored in Shanghai data centers —preventing it from being transferred internationally and used to enhance FSD’s training.

But Musk dropping in unannounced could signal a breakthrough is imminent on this data-sharing front. He did recently tease that FSD may arrive for Chinese Tesla owners “very soon.”

The Race to Autonomous Driving is On

There’s certainly urgency for Tesla to deliver on its FSD promises in China. Domestic EV rivals like Xpeng have been racing to release their own self-driving software first to gain an edge. Tesla just launched a paid subscription for its more basic driver-assist features last week— likely a move to tide over customers clamoring for FSD.

So while details are scarce on Musk’s Beijing talks, one thing is clear: He’s jockeying to ensure Tesla doesn’t get lapped by hometown brands in the high-stakes race to bring true autonomous driving capabilities to Chinese roads and drivers. The implications for Tesla’s future in its key Chinese market could be huge.

Share on: