Baidu becomes the sixth company to obtain approval for testing self-driving cars without safety drivers in Sunnyvale. The company joins Waymo, Zoox, AutoX, Nuro, and Cruise to test fully autonomous vehicles in California. Baidu has deployed self-driving cars since 2016 in California, but this permit by the California Department of Motor Vehicles will allow the company to test three autonomous vehicles.
The company can test its vehicles on roads during non-heavy fog and rain conditions with speed limits not exceeding 45 miles per hour. Similar to other fully autonomous vehicle providers, Baidu fulfilled the requirements of providing evidence of insurance or bond equal to $5million, the capability of operating without a safety driver, and more.
Other compliance for testing fully autonomous vehicles include continuously monitoring the status of vehicles, reporting collisions within 10 days, and filing the annual report of disengagements. According to the company, in 2019, Baidu topped California’s 2019 DMV disengagement report in a total of 108,300 miles.
With the permit, Baidu is now the first company to get approval for two different types of vehicle models — Lincoln MKZ and Chrysler Pacifica. Late last year, Baidu received approval for testing driverless tests on public streets in China, making it the first in the home country.
Developing self-driving cars since 2013, Baidu became the first open-source autonomous driving platform with Baidu Apollo. The platform was open-sourced in 2017, engaging more than 45,000 developers and 210 industry partners.