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Tesla’s Robotaxi Turns Reality with an August 8th Reveal in China Amidst Government-Supported Trials

Remember how we covered a recent news where Elon Musk was struggling to get autonomous Tesla’s approval in China? Looks like the dragon is liking up on the idea now.

During his recent trip to China, Tesla CEO Elon Musk suggested testing Tesla’s advanced driver-assistance package in the country by using it in Robotaxis. This news was covered by a reputed state-backed Chinese newspaper China Daily. The newspaper quoted sources saying that Chinese officials are welcoming the idea and are hoping it would set a good example.

Is it possible now that FSD will get approval in China as well? When will the Robotaxi reveal happen? Let’s find out more in this article.

Tesla Robotaxi China Reveal

Elon Musk Visits China For Robotaxi Testing

Elon Musk recently visited China to discuss matters close to Tesla EVs and FSD technology. During his recent visit to China, Tesla CEO Elon Musk suggested testing the full self-driving (FSD) functions of Tesla EVs in the Chinese market using Robotaxis.

Sources indicate that the Chinese government may have offered partial support for this plan. Musk also proposed integrating these functions into the country’s taxi services, as reported by China Daily newspaper.

Elon Musk’s recent trip is second in less than half a year to China highlights his efforts to strengthen Tesla’s position in the country, where the tech-savvy consumer base prioritizes advanced features.

Tesla Robotaxi Concept

Elon Musk’s visit to China has yielded immediate benefits, securing a deal for Tesla to utilize mapping data from web search company Baidu. Musk’s surprise visit to China over the weekend included a meeting with Chinese Premier Li Qiang, which he shared with a photo posted on X.

Musk announced a partnership with China’s Baidu for mapping and navigation software, and Tesla’s Model 3 and Model Y passed China’s data-security requirements.

Tesla is in a tough spot with competition from local automakers like BYD in China. Musk is trying quite hard to get back on track in the Chinese market. By focusing on meeting Chinese consumer expectations and building partnerships with local companies to beat the competition.

Tesla Robotaxi Reveal

Last month on April 5, Elon Musk announced the launch of the company’s much-awaited driverless cab with a straightforward tweet on X. He simply wrote: “Tesla Robotaxi unveil on 8/8.” A date now looks like is chosen for its auspicious significance in Chinese culture.

This move is directly aligning with Elon Musk’s robust strategy to reposition as a stronger AI or robotics software company.

Elon Musk ditched going to India briefly before making this impromptu visit to China. Moreover, the company appears to be scaling back on infrastructure spending, as evidenced by Musk’s decision to dissolve the team behind Tesla’s Supercharger charging station network

With Tesla CEO Elon Musk proposing Robotaxi testing in China during his recent visit to the country, anticipation is sure to rise. It’s been almost eight years since Elon Musk first talked about a future with driverless cars in his “Master Plan, Part Deux.”

In that grand plan, he suggested that owners of self-driving cars would make money by letting others use their EVs for rides. He also proposed that Tesla would operate driverless taxi fleets in areas where there’s high demand for transportation.

FSD Approval Still Waits

During Musk’s visit, Tesla made progress in some areas while not in some crucial others. The Chinese government did not give full approval to launch FSD in the country. However, they gained approval for their Model 3 and Model Y EVs to enter off-limits parts of China that were previously restricted due to data security worries.

Now, Tesla’s cars can freely move around those areas after being deemed compliant with data-security rules by a top automotive association in China.

Baidu, the top web search engine in China, will provide mapping and navigation support to help Tesla with its driver assistance technology called “full self-driving” (FSD), according to sources from Bloomberg News.

Since China’s government tightly regulates mapping services, this partnership is crucial for Tesla’s operations in the country.

However, an insider clarified that the recent collaboration likely just improved the accuracy of Baidu’s maps for Tesla and didn’t directly relate to autonomous driving. They pointed out that Tesla doesn’t solely rely on maps for autonomous driving and hasn’t gotten permission from Baidu to use its mapping license.

Why Elon Musk Is Softer To China?

Elon Musk is known for his bold and aggressive approach with politicians like US President Joe Biden and even Brazilian authorities over the X platform (formerly Twitter). However, he took a more respectful mild tone expressing gratitude when meeting Li, China’s second most powerful politician.

When Elon Musk first opened Tesla’s factory in China, he seemed to be in a strong position. He got support from top leaders and changed policies in Tesla’s favor. He also introduced working conditions that had workers doing long hours with fewer protections, which was different from things back home.

Watch This Impressive Video Of Shanghai Gigafactory Production Line: A Rare Look Inside Tesla’s China Factory

All that made Tesla no.1 and Elon super rich but things have now changed. Musk’s actions in China have unintentionally helped create competition from Chinese electric vehicle makers. Now, these companies are taking Tesla’s major market share.

Some people are cautious about Elon Musk’s increasing benefit-based ties with China. Musk sees China as a crucial market for electric vehicles, with Tesla’s Shanghai Giga being vital for managing production flow.

China is now Tesla’s second-biggest market. However, this reliance on China has its drawbacks when seen as a big picture.

During the meeting with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier made an eerie comment about the complex relationship, saying, “You have me, and I have you,” suggesting mutual dependence alongside potential spooky tensions.


Elon Musk is planning to introduce Tesla’s robotaxis in China, according to reports from state-owned media. During a surprise visit to China last month, Musk met with Premier Li Qiang, the country’s second-highest-ranking politician. Chinese officials reportedly gave initial approval for FSD in China.

Elon Musk announced earlier this year that Tesla would introduce its robotaxi concept on August 8, 2024. With China being Tesla’s second-largest market, reports suggest the Robotaxi testing could help Tesla regain market share. However, before fully launching its FSD functions, Tesla needs approval to gather and transfer data for training its driver-assistance features.

Although this issue wasn’t extensively discussed during Musk’s recent visit to China, looks like Tesla is getting what it wants from the Dragon for now.

Purnima Rathi
Purnima Rathi
Purnima has a strong love for EVs. Whether it's classic cars or modern performance vehicles, she likes to write about anything with four wheels, especially if there's a cool story behind it.


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