Alibaba-backed Self-driving Firm AutoX Granted Driver-less Test Permit

AutoX, a tech company developing AI drivers for autonomous driving vehicles, announced on July 17 at a press conference that it was granted a driverless permit by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

According to its press release, the new permit not only allows AutoX to test its autonomous technology without an in-car backup driver on public roads within a designated part in San Jose, California, but also allows for testing with passengers, and the first-step operation will be conducted on specified streets in San Jose with a speed limit of up to 45 mph.

AutoX is the third company to receive a driverless permit in the state of California, according to the California DMV.

SEE ALSO: AutoX Partners with AutoNavi to Offer RoboTaxi Services in Shanghai

“It was a major step forward in achieving AutoX’s founding mission to ‘Democratize Autonomy’, and making autonomous driving universally accessible to everyone,” AutoX said.

AutoX was founded in 2016 by Jianxiong Xiao, a self-driving technologist from MIT and Princeton University. It has eight offices and five R&D centers globally, including Shenzhen and San Jose. Its investors include Shanghai Auto, Dongfeng Motor, Alibaba, MediaTek, Capital Today, Gobi Venture, and other top investors.

Backed by Alibaba, Dongfeng Motor, Plug and Play, and HKSTP, AutoX announced that it had completed a US$100 million Series A financing in September 2019. At the end of December 2019, the company completed tens of millions of dollars of pre-B round financing, which will be used for landing operations in the Chinese market, reported by Chinese tech media 36kr.

AutoX currently operates a Robo Taxi fleet in Shenzhen and Shanghai, China. The company opened a RoboTaxi Operations Center in Shanghai this April, which is now dubbed “the largest data hub for self-driving car data in Asia,” according to the press conference.