Toyota to unveil first ‘full’ self driving EV next year as it chases Tesla

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Toyota to unveil first ‘full’ self driving EV next year as it chases Tesla


As it looks to close the gap with Tesla and other EV tech leaders, Toyota is set to unveil its first EV with an advanced self-driving system. Toyota’s joint venture, GAC Toyota, confirmed it’s launching an EV with Tesla Full Self Drive-like capabilities next year in China.

Toyota to release first “full” self-driving EV next year

GAC Toyota is a 50:50 joint venture between Toyota Motor and China’s Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC).

The news was announced this week on GAC Toyota’s social media as it looks to close the technology gap with rivals like Tesla, XPeng, BYD, NIO, and others in the region.

Toyota’s JV will launch the Bozhi 3X SUV next year as the first EV model to feature the self-driving tech. It will enable advanced driver-assist features like driving on roads, avoiding obstacles, and parking (similar to Tesla’s FSD).

The tech stems from a new partnership with Momenta, an autonomous vehicle startup in Beijing. Toyota was among the lead investors during Momenta’s 2021 Series C financing.

GAC Toyota is also working with Huawei to use its tech in Toyota’s bZ3X electric sedan, according to CnEVPost. The bZ3X was revealed in October 2022 as the second EV to join its lineup behind the bZ4X.

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GAC Toyota Bozhi 3X SUV (Source: GAC Toyota)

The new tech is unique from Huawei’s in that Momenta and Huawei will provide software and hardware while the three work together to integrate it.

Toyota also revealed it plans to release an iron phosphate lithium battery by 2027 that could cut production costs by 40% (compared to the current bZ4X).

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Toyota bZ3 EV (Source: Toyota)

After car sales dropped 22% in China during the first four months of 2024, Toyota is looking to revamp the brand with new, more competitive tech.

Toyota is taking another page from Tesla with plans to open the previously exclusive Lexus charging stations in Japan to other EVs. The Japanese auto giant looks to fend off incoming competition from low-cost Chinese EV makers like BYD, which launched its third EV in Japan last week.

Source: Reuters, GAC Toyota

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