Chinese smart mobility company WeRide last week began large scale autonomous taxi tests in the city of Guangzhou in China’s southern Guangdong province.
The company, backed by the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, installed its latest Level-4 autonomous driving technology in a fleet of dozens of battery-powered Nissan passenger cars for trial in a 144 sq km area of the city.
The trial is being conducted in collaboration with local taxi company Guangzhou Baiyun Taxi Group, after the two companies reached an agreement in August. The WeRide vehicles are the same in appearance as the regular taxis operated by its partner and even have the same meters.
As part of the trials, passengers can order a taxi via the WeRideGo app, with dozens of rides having taken place on the first day.
Autonomous vehicle trials have been stepped up on dedicated roads and test centres across China this year, as the country looks to become a global leader in autonomous and connected car technology.
Last month a new CNY1.6bn (US$228m) test centre dedicated to autonomous and connected vehicles was opened in Xiangyang in Hubei province, covering an area of 73 hectares.