Panda Auto, a car-hailing platform for vehicle using alternative energy, was granted a licence by the Chongqing authority which will now allow them to begin testing self-driving cars. This is after eight other companies who also have been given the go ahead including Changan Auto, Baidu, FAW Group, Dongfeng Motor, GAC Group, Geely, Foton Motor, and Roadstar.ai.
Chongqing is the third city in China that legalizes autonomous vehicle road tests under certain conditions. The former two are megacities Beijing and Shanghai.
Founded in May, 2015, Panda Auto is an hourly car rental service platform invested by Chongqing Lifan Holdings Co., Ltd. After three-year development, it has launched businesses in 12 cities including Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Wuhan, Nanjing and Kunming, deploying over 20,000 vehicles and serving more than 4 million registered users.
Panda Auto and Chines Internet titan Baidu jointly launched the China's first shared autonomous vehicle pilot program in Chongqing on May 24 last year.
The trial operation deploys six autonomous vehicles for the public for nearly one month in the Baidu-Panda Autonomous Vehicle Demonstration Park of Chongqing's Liangjiang New Area. According to Panda Auto's CEO Gao Yu, the shared autonomous vehicles feature such functions as automatic parking, automatic charging and remote-hailing.
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