China is now the most aggressive market for testing self-driving technology, and traditional car giants don't seem to want to be left behind.

Honda China and AutoX, a self-driving technology company, announced Friday that they have partnered to launch road driving tests featuring Accord and Inspire models in order to explore self-driving solutions.

It's the first time we've seen the traditional carmaker, which is popular in China, conduct driverless road tests, signaling its desire to rise up and close the gap with tech giants in the emerging technology space.

AutoX is the frontrunner of Level 4 autonomous driving in China. In this partnership, Honda will adopt and leverage on AutoX’s cutting-edge technology and experience in the testing and deployment of autonomous vehicles in the most populated cities in China.

Honda aims to deepen understanding of China’s traffic environment, establish the public acceptance and safety of autonomous driving technology, as well as to seek new autonomous driving technology solutions through the test.

In China, Honda began to apply “Honda SENSING” to its wide range of products from 2015, and is currently preparing for the “Next generation Honda SENSING.”

In March, Honda launched the first mass-production vehicle compatible with autonomous technology Level 3 in the Japanese market.

AutoX is operating over 100 RoboTaxis in China’s most populated cities, including Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Wuhan.

Last July, AutoX received a permit from the U.S. state of California for unmanned vehicle driving tests.

AutoX opens first big data center for unmanned vehicle operation in Shanghai

Honda China partners with AutoX for self-driving road testing-CnEVPost

(Source: AutoX)