Shanghai allows Tesla to carry out Full Self-Driving pilot

By Ella Cao, Zhang Yan and Ryan Woo

BEIJING (Reuters) – Shanghai is allowing 10 Tesla vehicles to carry out tests of the company’s most advanced autonomous driving software to pave way for its rollout in China, local-government-backed The Shanghai Observer said on Friday.

A successful rollout of its Full Self-Driving (FSD) software would allow Tesla to better compete with local rivals in China, and could turn the world’s largest auto market into a battlefield for less expensive driver assistance features, intensifying a price war.

Tesla has been offering FSD for subscription in China for four years but with a restricted set of features.

In April, the automaker’s CEO Elon Musk paid an unannounced visit to Beijing, where he was believed to discuss the rollout of FSD. In May, Reuters reported that Tesla is preparing to register FSD with authorities in China in the run up to its planned rollout of this year.

The same month, Chinese state media said Tesla has broken ground on a factory in Shanghai to make its Megapack energy storage batteries, while hailing the company’s commitment to investing in China.

The financial hub’s Nanhui New City will “strengthen and supplement the chain” around Tesla’s energy storage to enhance the concentration of the energy storage industry, The Shanghai Observer said.

Tesla has also signed a contract with Shanghai Lingang to achieve local commercialisation, it added.

Shanghai allows Tesla to carry out Full Self-Driving pilot
FILE PHOTO: People walk past a showroom outside Tesla China headquarters at China Central Mall in Beijing, China July 11, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee/File Photo