Baidu, Tesla Agree on Mapping Deal for FSD

Baidu, a prominent internet search company in China, has reportedly struck a deal with Tesla, granting the car manufacturer access to its mapping license for data collection on China’s public roads, according to sources familiar with the matter.


This agreement marks a significant milestone for Tesla’s driver assistance system, known as Full Self Driving (FSD), as it clears the last regulatory hurdle required for its introduction in China.

As part of the arrangement, Baidu will also provide Tesla with its lane-level navigation system.

The deal was finalized recently, coinciding with Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s visit to China, where he met with Premier Li Qiang to seek approvals for the FSD software rollout and data transfer permissions.


In China, all intelligent driving systems must obtain a mapping qualification before operating on public roads. Foreign companies must partner with domestic entities holding the necessary license, and Baidu is among the select few with this authorization.

With the mapping service license secured, Tesla can legally deploy its FSD software on Chinese roads, enabling its vehicles to gather crucial data about their surroundings, including road layouts, traffic signs, and nearby structures.

It remains unclear whether the collected data will be owned by Tesla or Baidu.

The partnership between Baidu and Tesla dates back to early 2020 when Tesla began utilizing Baidu’s navigation map in its vehicles in China, akin to the mapping services available on smartphones.


Although the announcement made by Baidu on April 20 highlighted collaborations with various companies, including Tesla, specific mention of the FSD feature was absent.

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