Chinese startup WeRide recently received a permit to test self-driving cars on public roads in San Jose, California.
After raising $310 million, it is the seventh company to receive a driverless testing permit, following AutoX, Baidu, Cruise, Nuro Waymo, and Zoox.
Driverless testing permits allow companies to not staff their vehicles and can even do without a steering wheel. This has become a necessary step to launch commercial robots as well as delivery services in the state.
These tests will take place during daytime hours Monday through Friday, but not during fog or rain, and the speed limit on the roads will not exceed 45 miles per hour, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles.
Companies applying for driverless permits in California must provide proof of insurance or a bond verifying that the SAE L4 or L5 vehicle can operate without a driver.
In addition, the vehicles need to meet federal motor vehicle safety standards or receive a waiver from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Test vehicles must be continuously monitored, and companies are also required to provide technical training to remote operators.
Driverless test permit holders must report any crashes involving driverless test vehicles to the DMV within 10 days and submit an annual extrication report.
The company, which was licensed to test autonomous vehicles with safety drivers in the US at its inception in 2017, received a permit to operate a ride-hailing business in Guangzhou in February of this year.
Headquartered in Guangzhou, China, WeRide has R&D and operations centers in Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Wuhan, Zhengzhou, Anqing, and Silicon Valley.