California allows China's AutoX to test driverless cars

By Chi Jingyi Source: Global Times Published: 2020/7/19 17:38:24

Big data center of AutoX for driverless cars began operations in Shanghai on April 13. Photo: AutoX

California has given Chinese autonomous driving company AutoX a permit to test driverless vehicle on surface roads in the city of San Jose, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

AutoX is the first Chinese company to be issued a DMV Autonomous Vehicle Driverless Testing Permit, the third to acquire such permit, after Waymo and Nuro Inc., as of Friday. This license is the one of the world's most authoritative of autonomous driving technology.

Sixty-two companies have been allowed to test autonomous vehicles with a safety driver in California, more than ten of which are Chinese or China-funded companies, including Baidu USA, NIO USA, TuSimple, WeRide, DiDi Research America, and

Before AutoX, Chinese autonomous driving startup WeRide obtained a license on July 12 to test its self-driving car in a designated area of South China's Guangzhou province without a safety officer, the first in China. 

While China is keeping up with the US in terms of truly unmanned auto-driving vehicle tests, analysts said China still lags behind in chips, the core hardware that runs the decision-making system. 

China is improving its technology in chipmaking, Wang Peng, an assistant professor at the GaoLing School of Artificial Intelligence of Renmin University, told the Global Times on Sunday.

"As China focuses on new infrastructure construction, technologies for autonomous driving is developing at a fast pace, including 5G, big data, cloud computing and algorithms, on which China could be on par with the US," Wang noted.

While competition has become increasingly fierce in the autopilot technology, there is greater cooperation between companies in the world. 

Self-driving tech company TuSimple announced on Wednesday that it will co-develop SAE L4 self-driving semi-trucks targeted for production by 2024 with US company Navistar International Corp.

Autonomous technology is entering the transport industry, and will have a profound impact on our customers' businesses, said Persio Lisboa, President and CEO of Navistar, according to a report sent to the Global Times.

A few months ago, Volvo and Baidu announced a strategic partnership to jointly develop L4 electric vehicles that will serve China's robotaxi market.


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