Tesla prepares for FSD testing in Shanghai with 10 pilot cars, official says

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Shanghai’s district Nanhui New City green-lighted the use of 10 Tesla vehicles for a Full Self-Driving (FSD) trial testing, a city official confirmed to local media.

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Shanghai district, Nanhui New City, allows 10 Tesla vehicles for a Full Self-Driving (FSD) experimental program, according to Shanghai Observer. The report cites Lu Sen, director of the data department of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone Administrative Committee. Nanhui New City district is close to Tesla’s Giga Shanghai plant.

Sen didn’t specify when the first 10 Tesla testing vehicles will start pilot operations. To enable FSD in China, Tesla first needs to register the software at the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), which approves every model sold on the Chinese market as well as ADAS software.

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Once Tesla receives MIIT approval, company employees will be allowed to test FSD on public roads, followed by an allowance for Chinese users, the report says.

Reuters previously reported that Tesla is considering licensing FSD to other automakers in China. Tesla currently offers Autopilot ADAS to users in China.

Tesla set up a data center in Shanghai in 2021, where all data collected by the company in China is stored and processed, including Autopilot, sales data, production data, charging data, etc.

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Tesla also set up an FSD operation team in Shanghai and a data labeling team. Moreover, they sent engineers from US headquarters to train the Chinese staff. The main requirement for an FSD allowance in China is basically that no data can leave the country. Tesla thus needs to process all FSD learning data on the ground in China without sending them to the US, even if they are anonymized. Such a policy is, for example, missing in the EU.

In April, Elon Musk posted on X that Tesla FSD could be launched in China soon, writing, “It may be possible very soon,” when replying to a random user asking about FSD availability in China.

In May, Musk visited China to meet with Chinese Premier Li Qiang and, according to sources familiar with the meeting, received a nod for Robotaxi testing in China. Earlier, Musk announced that Tesla would unveil a robotaxi on August 8. “I did partly pick it because 8/8 is a lucky number in China!” Tesla CEO confirmed on X.

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