Daimler AG became the first international automaker to receive a road test license for Level 4 highly automated driving on the roads of the Chinese capital of Beijing.
The world famous German automaker announced on its website on July 9 that it has received the approval after extensive closed-course testing.
Daimler’s competitor BMW, another German auto manufacturer, obtained the first self-driving road test license for a foreign automaker in Shanghai this May.
Daimler has already obtained test licenses in Germany and the U.S.
Part of its Intelligent World Drive project, Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz vehicles aimed to complete self-driving tests in five countries on five continents, namely Germany, China, Australia, South Africa and the U.S., in five months. The test vehicle was based on an S-Class catering to country-specific users and traffic habits.
To qualify for the license, Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz vehicles enlisted the help of additional technical expertise from Baidu‘s Apollo autonomous driving platform and undertook extensive testing at the National Pilot Zone in Beijing and Hebei province.
In cooperation with local companies, Daimler has partnered with Baidu in research on safer automated driving solutions for China through the open source Apollo 3.0 autonomous driving platform unveiled at the latest Baidu AI Developers Conference.
Daimler has also been in a joint research conduct with China’s renowned Tsinghua University since 2012. The research focuses on increasing road safety, specifically on the vision-based detection of vulnerable road users and simulation of crash tests to better fit a China-specific road environment.
Featured Image Source: Mercedes-Benz website.