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Baidu Apollo granted 199 autonomous driving licenses in China by 2020

Baidu had received 199 autonomous driving licenses in China by the end of December 2020, the Internet giant noted in its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2020.

The company said it was the first Chinese company to obtain driverless licenses from both the authorities in California and China. On Jan. 27, Baidu received a permit from California to test self-driving cars without a driver behind the wheel. The permit allows it to test three autonomous vehicles on designated streets within Sunnyvale and Santa Clara County.

Baidu Apollo's robotaxi, photo credit: Baidu

In late 2020, Baidu was granted five driverless testing permits from the Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport, marking the first batch of permits issued to a company that allow driverless vehicles on public roads.

The Chinese search engine leader also announced its ASD (Apollo Self Driving) unit has formed strategic partnerships with 10 leading local and global automakers on such services as HD (high-definition) Maps and AVP (automated valet parking).

Besides, Apollo ANP (autonomous navigation pilot) has recently accepted orders, which timely came after the MIIT's release of the draft regulation that allows highway testing of autonomous cars.

As of December 2020, Apollo's robotaxi and robobus fleets had offered over 210,000 rides in total.

Baidu claimed on Jan. 11 it planned to build a company to produce intelligent electric vehicles and had entered into strategic partnership with Zhejiang Geely Holding Group. For the cooperation, Baidu would provide its intelligent driving capabilities to power the passenger vehicles of the new venture, and Geely would contribute its expertise in automobile design and manufacturing.