China's Didi approved to test autonomous vehicle in California

Didi Chuxing last year opened its main research facility in Mountain View of California, 860km north of Los Angeles.
Didi Chuxing last year opened its main research facility in Mountain View of California, 860km north of Los Angeles.PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (XINHUA) - China's drive-sharing company Didi Chuxing Technology Co. was approved by California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to test its self-driving vehicles.

A newest list posted on DMV's website showed 53 pieces of Autonomous Vehicle Testing Permits (with a driver) had been permitted as of last Thursday (May 10).

Didi was the latest one joining the group, which includes both technology and automotive companies.

Didi Senior Communications Director Liang Sun was quoted by The Wall Street Journal on 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 last year opened its main research facility in Mountain View of California, 860km north of Los Angeles, to focus on developing artificial intelligence, including autonomous driving.

The approval from the California state regulator is Didi's first licence for testing on public roads in the United States.

Besides Didi, many Chinese companies including Baidu, Faraday & Future, Changan Automobile, have started their tests in the state.