Former Baidu executives-founded self-driving car startup WeRide seeks test riders

The offer is limited to residents in Anqing, a city in Eastern China.

Guangzhou-headquartered autonomous vehicle startup WeRide has begun recruiting individuals for test rides of its self-driving car in the city of Anqing, located in East China’s Anhui province.

The vehicle in question is categorized as a “level 4” self-driving car, meaning the driver is not required to interfere with any driving operations to maintain his or her own safety, and that autonomous travel is available under specific conditions, such as traffic jams and designated self-driving zones.

The local government’s leader, Wei Xiaoming, was the first person to test WeRide’s “level 4” vehicle. Other Anqing residents can book a test ride on WeRide’s WeChat account or its app before June 30.

The company is expected to host a fleet of 100 autonomous driving vehicles by the end of this year.

WeRide was founded in Silicon Valley in 2017 by Wang Jin, who once led Baidu’s autonomous driving team. The company was originally called Jingchi, but was renamed last October after it closed its Series A financing round. In March 2018, Wang left the company after a trade secret dispute with his former employer. Now, WeRide is helmed by Tony Han, who was previously the chief scientist of Baidu’s autonomous driving research unit.

KrAsia reported in early March that Baidu will begin commercializing its autonomous vehicles in Changsha, the capital of Central China’s Hunan province, by putting 100 robotaxis on the road by the end of 2019.

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