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China's Baidu gets approval to test self-driving cars in Beijing, days after fatal Uber crash in the US

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 silversides    244

China's Baidu gets approval to test self-driving cars in Beijing, days after fatal Uber crash in the US

Reuters and Tara Francis Chan


Tech giant Baidu has received Beijing's first licenses to test self-driving vehicles on the capital city's roads.

The cars, which are permitted to travel on 33 roads spanning 105 kilometers (65 miles), took their first drive in Beijing on Thursday.

Earlier this month a self-driving Uber was involved in a fatal crash in Arizona, raising questions of the technology's safety.

While Uber and Toyota have temporarily halted self-driving testing, Baidu is pushing forward as China tries to position itself as a leader in autonomous vehicles.

China's capital city has given the green light to tech giant Baidu Inc to test self-driving cars on city streets, just days after an autonomous Uber vehicle killed a woman in Arizona.

Beijing gave Baidu, best known as China's version of search engine Google, a permit to test its autonomous vehicles on 33 roads spanning around 105 kilometers (65 miles) in the city's less-populated suburbs, the firm said in a statement.

It is the first company to receive licenses to conduct open road tests in Beijing, and five cars ventured onto public roads in the Daxing district on Thursday.

"With supportive policies, we believe that Beijing will become a rising hub for the autonomous driving industry," Baidu Vice-President Zhao Cheng said in the statement. "We hope to work with more partners to pave the way for the full development of autonomous driving."



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