Tesla China to Use NavInfo Satellite Navigation

Tesla Model S satellite navigation 1 photo
Photo: Catalin Garmacea
Chinese digital map provider NavInfo struck a deal with Tesla Motors for a problem with the China-spec Model S electric sedan. As we told you back in July, Elon Musk’s pride and joy is using Google Maps for sat nav duties, but the software cannot be used there.
Back then, a Tesla spokesperson informed media outlets and customers that the EV manufacturer is planning “to introduce navigation to Chinese cars later this year." Fast forward five months since that announcement and the Palo Alto-based automaker declared that an update of Tesla OS 6.0 is currently in the pipeline, with mapping provided by NavInfo.

Although Tesla Motors hasn’t disclosed any proper data about the deal, we expect its terms to be as follows: Beijing NavInfo Navigation Information Technology will provide Tesla with mapping data for the satellite navigation system fitted to the Model S, including Mandarin voice & text recognition for the best usability possible. Of course, Tesla Motors’ whiz kids will take care of fine tuning the software, while all the major glitches will be NavInfo's burden.

Regarding when will the NavInfo arrive in Chinese Tesla Model S vehicles, that’s mum’s guess at the present moment. If we’re to believe what the local media says about this matter, then expect NavInfo to be integrated with the Model S in late February, just in time for the 2015 Chinese New Year holiday.

What about the NavInfo Co., Ltd. company’s background?

As it happens, NavInfo collaborated with big names in the automotive biz, including Volvo, PSA, Daimler AG, BMW, Volkswagen, Toyota, Nissan, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors. Founded in 1997, the relatively young Beijing-based outfit is currently valued at $1.5 billion on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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