Tesla and Baidu Potential Robotaxi Partnership

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Tesla’s Potential Partnership for Robotaxis in China

Tesla, the renowned electric vehicle manufacturer, may have found a potential partner to integrate its long-awaited robotaxi technology in China. The partnership in question involves Baidu, a prominent Chinese search engine giant that has made substantial investments in self-driving vehicles and maintains a close relationship with Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk.

The Collaboration Details

Recently, Tesla and Baidu inked an agreement to deploy Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) driver assistance technology utilizing Baidu’s navigation and mapping services. This collaboration builds upon an existing partnership established in 2020. Baidu holds a distinguished position as one of the select few suppliers in China possessing top-level mapping credentials suitable for driver assistance programs like FSD.

According to Nikkei Asia, Baidu currently operates robotaxi services in over 10 cities, with more than six million rides completed in their self-driving vehicles. On a recent note, Baidu unveiled the RT6 robotaxi, the sixth generation in their series, which is priced at $27,202 per unit, significantly less than its predecessor. Jointly developed with state-owned Jiangling Motors Group, this new offering aims to enhance accessibility to autonomous driving technology.

As per a report in the Shanghai Securities News, Baidu has expressed interest in incorporating Tesla’s robotaxi technology into their operations. Xu Baoqiang, the general manager of Baidu’s autonomous driving technology department, indicated the company’s openness to potential collaboration in this domain.

Tesla’s Robotaxi Unveiling Plan

In April, Elon Musk announced plans to unveil Tesla’s robotaxi on August 8, as part of the company’s broader vision to launch a ride-hailing service using a fleet of robotaxis, aiming to compete with industry giants like Uber. However, the specifics of this unveiling and the extent of technological readiness remain unclear.

Elon Musk, who is currently in discussions with investors regarding a significant pay package, is known for his ambitious statements and demonstrations, some of which have faced setbacks. Notably, Tesla’s Optimus robot project in 2021 garnered attention when it was revealed to be a person in a costume, rather than a sophisticated robot.

Similarly, during the unveiling of the Cybertruck in 2019, Tesla’s demonstration of the electric pickup’s robust glass windows backfired when the windows shattered upon impact with a metal ball, highlighting the unforeseen challenges in product showcasing.

Analysts at Bernstein cautioned against overly optimistic expectations surrounding Tesla’s robotaxi unveiling, drawing comparisons to previous aspirational announcements such as the Tesla Semi and Roadster, emphasizing the need for caution amid technological advancements.

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About Post Author

Chris Jones

Hey there! 👋 I'm Chris, 34 yo from Toronto (CA), I'm a journalist with a PhD in journalism and mass communication. For 5 years, I worked for some local publications as an envoy and reporter. Today, I work as 'content publisher' for InformOverload. 📰🌐 Passionate about global news, I cover a wide range of topics including technology, business, healthcare, sports, finance, and more. If you want to know more or interact with me, visit my social channels, or send me a message.
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