In China, major tech names like Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent often dominate the discussion surrounding the development of autonomous vehicles. Of course, with the restrictive policies that favor native brands currently set in place by regulators, having the country's tech "Big Three" lead the way on this front should come as no great surprise.
What is surprising though is that Germany's Daimler recently became the first international automaker to secure a self-driving vehicle test license like those currently employed by China's homegrown autonomous driving leaders.
As Kirsten Korosec of TechCrunch reports, earning this permit allows the owner of Mercedes-Benz to do something that no other automakers outside of China have been able to do: Test its technology within the unique and complex urban traffic situations found in Beijing.
Outside of conquering this milestone, taking the company's technology to its third continent (Daimler already tests self-driving tech in the United States and Germany) puts this automaker in a unique position to expedite the development and release of its driverless vehicles on a global scale via an influx of data and test miles that others in the race to market-ready autonomous vehicles simply don't have access to.
Could this breakthrough into the Chinese transportation landscape be the turning point for Daimler in its quest to create a viable self-driving product for drivers across the globe? How does the added testing in Beijing impact the automaker's planned autonomous taxi service (something that is sure to be on the radar of Daimler dealerships that still rely on conventional vehicle sales and not the company's newfound focus on mobility-as-a-service)?
To dig even deeper into these questions and learn a little more about Daimler's historic admittance into the Beijing testing region, go ahead check out the full story from Korosec over on TechCrunch by clicking the link down below.