China’s Didi Chuxing Approved For Autonomous Vehicle Testing in California
As of May 10, California’s Department of Motor Vehicles has issued an autonomous vehicle testing permit to Didi’s American research wing, clearing it to operate self-driving cars as long as there’s a safety driver.
Didi, which bought out Uber’s Chinese unit in 2016, is one of a number of Chinese firms looking to gain an edge over Silicon Valley tech giants.
The company has, until very recently, focused its efforts at its home market, but as of last month, it made its first steps towards operating in Mexico.
Didi Senior Communications Director Liang Sun was quoted by The Wall Street Journal Monday as saying that the company had been testing autonomous vehicles in closed internal environment for a while and it is finalising its plans to begin US road trials which will be made in a “prudent and safety-first” manner.
Didi is now the 53rd company to receive a permit to test autonomous vehicles in California, under the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles regulations.