Tesla is in talks with ‘one major automaker about licensing Full Self-Driving’

Elon Musk confirmed that Tesla is currently in talks with “one major automaker about licensing Full Self-Driving (FSD)”.

Back in 2021, Musk did say that he had early discussions with other automakers about licensing self-driving technology, but that didn’t lead to anything.

Last year, the CEO made an announcement that Tesla would be open to licensing Autopilot and FSD to other automakers.

However, earlier this year, Musk said that “automakers don’t believe Tesla Full Self-Driving is real”.

Now, the CEO has given an update about the FSD licensing effort during the conference call following the release of Tesla’s Q1 2024 results.

Musk announced that Tesla is “in talks with one major automaker about licensing Full Self-Driving.”

The CEO didn’t reveal which major automaker Tesla is talking to, but he did say that there’s “a good chance” a deal is signed this year.

However, Tesla’s management did mention that even if a licensing deal comes this year, it would likely be 3 years before an OEM can implement it into a vehicle program.

Tesla plans to supply its self-driving on-board computers and cameras to OEMs and license them the software, which Tesla currently sells for $8,000 or $99 a month.

Electrek’s Take

I could see Tesla convincing one or two OEMs now that it has v12, which is much more viable than anything it had before – giving a much-needed credibility boost to its self-driving effort.

When it comes to actual automakers, Tesla does seem to be ahead for level 4 autonomous driving. Waymo is obviously ahead as it is commercially deployed already, albeit with a different geo-fenced approach. But it’s also not an automaker.

If we talk about automakers outside of China, other than Mercedes-Benz with its level 3 system, Tesla is leading, in my opinion.

I could see an automaker like Ford being interested. Tesla has been getting closer to the company in recent years, for example, it was the first to adopt NACS. The company also had some bad luck with investments into self-driving, like partnering with Argo Ai, which went under.

The company could be interested in off-loading autonomy completely to Tesla – even though it is a big concession.

I am sure that if it does happen, the move will be criticized because Telsa has yet to achieve self-driving. However, if v12 can build enough confidence to show a clear path to get there, I can see a deal happening quick because as Tesla highlighted, it will take years to integrate the technology into another OME’s vehicle program.

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