BEIJING — Volkswagen AG mentioned on Wednesday it’s going to begin testing autonomous automobiles in China’s jap metropolis of Hefei, its first in the world’s largest automotive market.
China has turn out to be a scorching spot for making an attempt out autonomous driving automobiles. Toyota-backed Pony.ai, Baidu Inc, Nissan-backed WeRide and Didi Chuxing are all testing autonomous automobiles in completely different cities as automakers and tech firms are investing billions in the expertise.
Volkswagen, the most important international automaker in China, will begin the test in Hefei with Audi’s E-Tron electrical sport utility automobiles from September, it mentioned in a press release. The test shall be open to the general public from subsequent yr.
In May, Volkswagen mentioned it might make investments 1 billion euros ($1.18 billion) to take a 50% stake in the state-owned father or mother of Chinese digital car group JAC. Volkswagen can even take full administration management of its current electrical car three way partnership with JAC in Hefei by elevating its stake to 75% from 50%.
Volkswagen additionally has ventures with state-owned China FAW Group Corp Ltd and SAIC Motor Corp Ltd.
The German automotive firm offered 1.59 million automobiles in China in the primary six months of 2020, down 17% from 1.92 million automobiles in the identical interval final yr. For all of 2019, Volkswagen offered round 4.23 million automobiles in the nation.
In June Volkswagen closed its $2.6 billion funding in Pittsburgh-based self-driving startup Argo AI, in which Ford Motor Co additionally has a stake.
(Reporting by Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh; modifying by David Evans and Jane Merriman)