Baidu Explores ‘Possible’ Coop with Tesla for Robotaxi Services

May 16, 2024 – According to a report by Shanghai Securities News, Xu Baoqiang, General Manager of Baidu’s Autonomous Driving Technology Department, stated today that Baidu will consider possible cooperation opportunities with Tesla based on the specific application mode and the pace of entering the Chinese market of Tesla’s upcoming Robotaxi (shared taxi) service.

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, previously announced on X (formerly Twitter) that the company plans to launch its self-driving taxi service, Robotaxi, on August 8, 2024. Tesla has also indicated that its next-generation automobile platform will include “lower-priced cars” and fully autonomous driving taxis.

In late April of this year, rumors surfaced that Tesla would collaborate with Baidu on mapping and navigation features, clearing a crucial hurdle for the rollout of advanced driver assistance features in China. Musk made a surprise visit to China in April, which was followed by two announcements from Tesla’s official Weibo account emphasizing the acceleration of autonomous driving technology implementation.

Subsequently, informed sources revealed that the advanced driver assistance map submitted by Baidu Zhitu Technology Co., Ltd. for navigation, GS (2023) 4634, which was approved by the Ministry of Natural Resources, is a lane-level map developed through exclusive and deeply customized cooperation between Tesla and Baidu Maps.

Musk has stated that one of the reasons he chose August 8 to unveil Tesla’s self-driving taxi, Robotaxi, is because the date is considered auspicious in China. “Part of the reason is indeed that August 8 is a lucky number in China! Additionally, it’s also the 17th birthday of my triplets,” Musk explained.

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