Briefing: Guangzhou grants 20 test licenses to self-driving startup WeRide

By Jill Shen
1 min read

文远知行WeRide获20张广州路测牌照 数量位居全国第二 – Synced

What happened: The government of the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou on Thursday announced it granted five Chinese self-driving companies 24 licenses to drive autonomous test cars on designated streets. Self-driving startup WeRide secured 20 of them, with the other four licenses granted to Pony.ai, AutoX, DeepBlue, and state-owned Guangzhou Automobile Group. Founded in Silicon Valley in April 2017 by Baidu ex-SVP Wang Jin, Guangzhou-based WeRide says its vehicles have so far travelled 500,000 kilometers (310,690 miles) in China and the US combined.

Why it’s important: The holder of the second largest number of licenses in the country, WeRide has become one of the major challengers to Baidu. The search giant was granted 51 licenses nationwide and reported 140,000 kilometers traveled last year in China’s first road test report. To date, four major Chinese cities have allowed testing of self-driving vehicles on designated roads; Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen granted their first permits in early 2018. By April, Chinese governments had granted 109 licenses to 35 companies in 19 cities. Most were temporary permits with validity of between three to six months and classified according to automation level and service category.