5 Mar 18

China issues first licenses to test self-driving vehicles

China has started issuing licenses that allow car manufacturers to road-test self-driving vehicles. The first two licenses were issued to SAIC Motor Corp. and to Nio, an EV startup. 

According to Xinhua, China's official news agency, the licenses allow operators to test-drive autonomous vehicles on a 5.6-km stretch of public road in the Jiading District of Shanghai (pictured). 

The license-issuing follows a controversy last July when Robin Li, head of Chinese search engine Baidu, tested his company's self-driving car in Beijing. At that time, there were no rules in China for such a test. 

It appears that the licenses were issued not by the central Chinese government, but by the Shanghai municipal government. “Shanghai will open more roads for testing smart cars”, Xinhua quoted Huang Ou, deputy director of the Shanghai Commission of Economy and Information Technology.

Authored by: Frank Jacobs