The race for electric and autonomous vehicles appears to really be heating up, especially in the state of California. Baidu USA, the Beijing and Silicon Valley-based autonomous vehicle research and design company, has been granted a permit from the Department of Motor Vehicles to begin conducting tests on self-driving cars on public roads.
According to a press release issued by the California DMV, Baidu USA has been granted a driverless testing permit, which will allow the company to test up to three autonomous cars without a driver inside on several roads in Sunnyvale, California. Baidu will be allowed to conduct testing at all times throughout the day and night, except when there is heavy fog or rain present. However, the pilot project is subject to only specified streets that have posted speed limits not exceeding 45 miles per hour.
The California DMV first unveiled its Autonomous Vehicle Tester Program in 2014, allowing manufacturers to test their cars with a human behind the wheel. However, in 2018, the agency introduced the Autonomous Vehicle Driverless Tester Program, which grants auto companies the privilege to test their design without a human inside the vehicle. Thus far, the DMV has issued the latter permit to only six companies in the state of California, including Baidu, Zoox, Waymo, Cruise, Nuro, and Autox Technologies. Ironically, Tesla, the most prominent company taking center stage in the electric and autonomous vehicle space, does not hold an Autonomous Vehicle Driverless Testing Permit.
Information for this briefing was found via the DMV. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.