Guangzhou-based WeRide received approval from the California Department of Motor Vehicles on Monday to test driverless vehicles on public roads in San Jose, two and a half months after Baidu was granted a permit to do the same.
WeRide has been testing autonomous vehicles with safety drivers since 2017. The company will run trials without that precaution, using two cars that are confined to designated streets, the DMV said on its website. The vehicles will operate on roads with posted speed limits not exceeding 45 miles per hour, but not during heavy rain or foggy conditions.
“We plan to roll out driverless mobility services for passengers in two to three years in the US, but this is up to regulations of different cities,” WeRide told KrASIA on Tuesday.
The company started tests with fully autonomous vehicles in Guangzhou last July, but hasn’t launched passenger-carrying services yet. “We are taking advantage of technology, talent, and policies in China and the US to carry out tests with the hope to increase public confidence in the sector,” WeRide said.
WeRide has also been operating a robotaxi fleet with safety operators in Guangzhou since November 2019. The vehicles transported 60,000 passengers in its first year of service, counting 147,128 trips in total.