China has issued licenses to car manufacturers that allow self-driving vehicles to be road tested for the first time.
Reuters quotes the state-owned Xinhua news agency reporting that two licenses were offered to Shanghai-based SAIC Motor Corp Ltd, and the other went to electric vehicle start-up NIO, Xinhua reported.
Reuters adds that NIO confirmed it received a license. There was no immediate comment from SAIC.
The licenses would allow operators to test drive the vehicles on a 5.6-km (3.5-mile) public road in Jiading District of Shanghai, Xinhua said.
NIO said it had received its license from Shanghai Municipal Government.“We will now be able to further the development of our autonomous driving technologies,” NIO Co-Founder and President Lihong Qin said in the statement.
Shanghai also issued regulations on road tests for such smart cars and said it would promote the application and commercialization of vehicles using artificial intelligence technology and Internet-linked functions, Xinhua reported.
“Shanghai will open more roads for testing smart cars,” Huang Ou, the deputy director of Shanghai Commission of Economy and Information Technology, Reuters quotes the agency as saying.