Tencent, Didi, Baidu among the Seven Companies Approved for Autonomous Car Road Tests in Beijing

According to Beijing Innovation Center for Mobility Intelligent, the Beijing Municipal Government issued license plates to seven companies on September 22 for street testings of autonomous vehicles. The companies include subsidiaries of Internet giants Tencent, Didi Chuxing, and Baidu, as well as automakers NIO, BAIC BJEV, Daimler Greater China, and Pony.ai.

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Among the companies that were authorized, Beijing Baidu Netcom Science Technology Co., Ltd, a subsidiary to tech giant Baidu, now has a total of 25 license plates, an addition of 20 new plates from the five existing ones since March this year. Tencent‘s Dadi Tongtu and Daimler Greater China each hold two plates, while the other four have been granted one license each.

The license plates are arranged in levels from T1 to T5, based on the capabilities of the tested vehicle. The T3 license plate received by Didi Chuxing, Baidu, and Pony.ai is the highest level plate issued by the Beijing Municipal Government and requires the smart vehicle in question to be able to follow traffic rules and handle emergencies.

Corresponding to the five levels of license plates are five levels of test roads, namely levels R1 to R5. Earlier this month, Beijing has allocated 11 more roads for autonomous vehicle testings in addition to the first 33 roads opened in March. The 44 roads cover a variety of traffic scenarios in urban and suburban areas.