GUANGZHOU – WeRide, GAC Group, AutoX, Pony.ai, Jingqi Technology and DeepBlue Technology became the first six companies to receive permits to test autonomous vehicles on open roads in the city of Guangzhou on June 20.
A total of 24 permits were handed out by the Guangzhou Transportation Bureau, Guangzhou Municipal Industry & Information Technology Bureau and Guangzhou Municipal Public Security Bureau, making Guangzhou the fourth tier-1 city in China to allow testing of intelligent connected vehicles (ICV) on open roads after Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen. Other cities that have also allowed such testing include Chongqing, Changsha, Baoding, Zhaoqing, Changchun and Pingtan.
Chinese autonomous vehicle startup WeRide, in particular, received 20 of the 24 permits, making it the company with the second most autonomous vehicle open road testing permits in China after Baidu. The company, previously known as JingChi Technology, was founded in 2017 in Silicon Valley but later moved its headquarters to Guangzhou. The 24 permits also make Guangzhou the city with the second most such permits after Beijing.
Permit holders in Guangzhou will be able to test their autonomous vehicles with safety drivers on 33 different streets in the Huangpu, Baiyun, Huadu and Nansha Districts covering total length of 45.644 km. They received their permits after going through a series of simulation tests conducted by the Guangzhou ICV Demonstration Zone Operation Center, a third-party organization designated by the city’s Public Security Bureau to be responsible for the administration of ICV road testing applications. Beijing issued its first AV road testing permits in March 2018 to Baidu and now has given out permits to a total of 11 companies, while Shanghai has issued seven permits to five companies including NIO. Shenzhen has so far issued only one permit to Tencent.