Daimler, a multinational automotive company based in Germany, has been given license to begin testing their self-driving cars on public roads in Beijing. This is the first international car manufacturer to be given permission to test on public roads in China.
The company was given a test permit via the Chinese government after lengthy testing on closed courses and states that the license to test is a major milestone for their research and development within China.
Daimler announced they will begin road testing immediately, and already have similar licenses in Germany and the US.
Other companies are already conducting tests for self-driving cars in China, most notably Baidu, who have been testing on public roads since 2016. Daimler needed to quality by adding their own Mercedes-Benz test cars technical applications to Baidu's Apollo program. Daimler also had to conduct tests at the National Pilot Zone for Intelligent Mobility with test drivers going through intense self-driving training.
Daimler has also been strengthening their partnership with Baidu, especially in research and development that focuses on safety and self-driving. The end goal is to gain a better understanding of the requirements for self-driving cars in China and to develop a sense of local technical trends.
Recently, Baidu announced a new update to their Apollo autonomous driving system, which is currently at Level 4 operations, a status given by SAE International, an automotive engineering association, that indicates a car can control itself in certain conditions.
Apollo is an open-source program self-driving platform that has been developed for years. Baidu isn't trying to make their own self-driving car, but just the software driving it. They also want as many companies as possible to work on Apollo and currently boast 116 partners including Jaguar Land Rover, Byton, Valeo, Leopard Imaging, and Suning Logistics.
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