On Wednesday, at the 23rd Annual Meeting of the China Association for Science and Technology, Baidu and Pony.ai received the first batch of highway passenger car test notices.
Beijing is now the center for AI development and intelligent transportation and the first city in China to open up and standardize road tests for autonomous driving. In 2017, Beijing issued its first set of detailed rules for managing the road tests of autonomous driving in China. As of April 2021, Beijing had issued test licenses for 87 self-driving vehicles from 14 different enterprises, and had opened 200 road sections with a total length of nearly 700 kilometers for test purposes. So far, self-driving vehicles have traveled safely for 26,000 kilometers in these test areas. Currently, Beijing ranks among the top in autonomous driving tests.
In April 2021, the Beijing Economic-Technological Development Area began construction of the an Intelligent Networked Automobile Policy Pioneer Zone after establishing the city’s own High-level Autopilot Demonstration Zone. This project encourages the application and promotion of new products and technologies for the automobiles within the intelligent network.
In April this year, Baidu Apollo qualified to test its autonomous vehicles atnight and in special weather situations in China. The company has since been exploring more complex scenarios. Baidu has so far obtained more than 300 automatic driving test licenses nationwide, more than any other Chinese company.
Pony.ai, established in 2016, announced in July that it would provide its Robotaxi service in Shanghai and operate along the main roads in the Jiading District. As of February 2021, it has raised at least $1.1 billion USD, and its valuation is higher than $5.3 billion USD.