(Yicai Global) Sept. 23 -- Central China's Wuhan has issued the nation's first group of licenses for firms to test out commercial business with self-driving vehicles at the city's new demonstration zone, the nation's largest autopilot area equipped with fifth-generation wireless networks.
Wuhan's traffic authority gave seven permits to Baidu, Haylion Technologies, and DeepBlue Technology yesterday, local newspaper Changjiang Daily reported.
On the same day, the capital city of Hubei province opened a demonstration zone for autopilot vehicles. The permits will allow the three firms to test their technologies on a road of 28 kilometers.
Baidu released its L4 autopilot passenger car, boasting a high level of autonomous driving, at the Baidu World Conference last November. The Beijing-based search engine giant plans to start small-scale production by the end of this year, and kick off mass production in 2020.
Shenzhen-based mobility startup Haylion launched its Alphaba Smart Bus in December 2017 and joined hands with the Shenzhen Bus Group to test the technology on public streets.
Shanghai-headquartered artificial intelligence startup DeepBlue Technology released its Panda Bus, rated between L3 to L4, last September, with interested buyers in Bangkok and Greece.
Editor: Emmi Laine