Baidu snags AV license, pushing China closer to driverless future Bloomberg

2019/9/23    source:Automotive News

The capital of central China’s Hubei province granted licenses for companies to test self-driving vehicles, pushing autonomous driving closer to reality in the country.

Internet giant Baidu Inc. received a license for five of its self-driving cars, while Shenzhen Haylion Technologies Co. and DeepBlue Technology Shanghai Co. will each test autonomous buses, said Hu Haojun, an official at Wuhan’s department of transport.

A Baidu spokesman declined to elaborate. Representatives from the other two companies weren’t available.

China has ambitious plans for developing its transportation sector, including a possible target of having 60 percent of all automobiles sold in the country run on electric motors by 2035. On the autonomous side, the State Council has emphasized a need to develop the technology and a comprehensive supply chain.

Shanghai last week announced plans for limited testing of driverless vehicles, following Changsha and Guangzhou. The city awarded licenses to SAIC Motor Corp., BMW Group and ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing Inc. to test cars with passengers.

For Wuhan, a city of about 10 million people, driverless vehicle tests will take place in designated parts of a 28-kilometer road, the official Xinhua News Agency said Sunday. It cited the deputy mayor as saying the city will provide “subsidies at appropriate levels” and that the trials could help put China on track to being a global leader in autonomous driving.

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