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China to date issues roughly 200 license plates for autonomous vehicle road tests

Monika From Gasgoo| October 25 , 2019 15:33 BJT

Shanghai (Gasgoo)- China has by far released roughly 200 licenses plates to OEMs, tech firms and institutes for their autonomous driving road tests when this report is prepared, according to data revealed by local media reports and compiled by Gasgoo. Most of them are applicable to PVs, while CV-used licenses are pretty rare.

China autonomous driving license plate, NIO autonomous driving test, China automotive news

The Internet giant Baidu is the absolute champion in terms of the number of licenses they received. Up until now, it has obtained 100 such kinds of license plates.

Baidu tapped the emerging domain as early as December, 2015 when the company officially set up the autonomous driving unit. In the following year, it received its self-driving car testing permit from the California Department of Motor Vehicles. The adventurer was also among the lucky companies who got China's first batch of license plates for autonomous vehicle road tests in March, 2018.

China autonomous driving license plate, NIO autonomous driving test, China automotive news

(Photo source: Baidu's WeChat account)

License plates used on the self-driving road tests in Beijing have five levels—from T1 to T5. The highest level that has been issued so far is T4, again, Baidu was the first reaper.

China autonomous driving license plate, NIO autonomous driving test, China automotive news

(Photo source: WeRide)

The runner-up WeRide, a China-based Level 4 autonomous driving startup, has to date gained 20 license plates. Previously known as JingChi.ai, the startup has been dedicated to researching and developing L4 autonomous driving technologies since its foundation in 2017 and obtained strategic investment from a top-tier global automaker Alliance Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi.

In last November, WeRide launched the first L4 robotaxi service in China in partnership with Baiyun Public Transport Group and GAC NE and started trial operation in Guangzhou. Besides, the company announced in this year’s August, it had partnered with Guangzhou Baiyun Taxi Group Co.,Ltd and Science City (Guangzhou) Investment Group Co., Ltd (SCI Group) to set up a joint venture focusing on exploring and offering L4 autonomous driving mobility services.

China autonomous driving license plate, NIO autonomous driving test, China automotive news

(Photo source: Didi Chuxing)

Since receiving the first plate from Beijing last year, DiDi, the Chinese ride-hailing giant, has so far got the road testing permission from California, Beijing, Shanghai and Jiangsu. Reportedly, the mobility service provider founded its autonomous driving arm in 2016, which contains a number of teams focusing on HD map, perception, behavior prediction, infrastructure & simulation, problem diagnosis, vehicle refitting, cloud control & IoV, vehicle-infrastructure cooperative system and cybersecurity.

Another Internet giant Tencent was given the testing green light from Beijing's authority last year as well. The parent of the popular messaging app WeChat established its autonomous driving lab in the second half of 2016, gathering multiple well-known Chinese and foreigner experts who are dedicated to exploring in cutting-edge fields like 360-degree view, HD map, point-cloud information processing. Moreover, Tencent intends to fortify its autonomous driving onslaught by integrating its platform resources of cloud, cybersecurity, big data and AI.

Apart from the above mentioned technology companies, EV startups like NIO, global automakers such as BMW Group and Daimler as well as Chinese indigenous OEMs including Dongfeng Motor, Geely, SAIC Motor and GAC Group have also been given go-ahead to conduct self-driving tests on public road as all of them try to gain a foothold in the burgeoning realm.

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