The Chinese self-driving car manufacturer AutoX said: It began testing fully self-driving cars in the Chinese city of Shenzhen, and the advantage of these cars is that they do not need the presence of any driver to intervene when necessary.
The company, which is backed by the Alibaba Group, said on Thursday that it was the first time that fully self-driving cars had driven on the streets of China.
In the past, many projects were launched for the so-called automated taxis in Chinese cities, but these vehicles required the presence of a driver to lead in emergencies, or a person driving them remotely.
AutoX said in a statement: “Street tests of driverless cars, which were aimed at determining how vehicles work in different road situations, were conducted over the six months.
“More than 100 automated taxis are currently being tested in Chinese cities, 25 of which are fully self-driving cars in Schengen,” AutoX Chief Operating Officer Jules Lee told reporters.
The company’s CEO Jianshang Shao explained that fully self-driving automated taxis are not yet available to the public. It is only available to the company’s employees and private guests, such as media, business partners, investors and car makers.
Lee said the next step might be to increase the number of cars, the size of the test area, as well as take the test in more cities. She added, “We have a plan to expand the test in the next six months to include 10 cities worldwide.”
Lee said it was likely one of those cities in Southeast Asia, but she did not specify the city. “We are excited about the Southeast Asian market and believe it will be the next developing market,” she added.
Lee noted that AutoX has an advantage in Southeast Asia compared to other autonomous driving systems that are being developed and tested in the West, because the streets in Asia are very similar to those in China.
It is also noteworthy that AutoX has launched a pilot self-driving service in Shanghai, and has a permit to test self-driving cars without driver safety in parts of San Jose, California, USA.