REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Volkswagen to start testing self-driving cars in China this year


German automaker Volkswagen announced on Wednesday plans to begin testing autonomous vehicles in Hefei, in eastern China. This will be the first testing of self-driving cars of the German automaker in the largest automotive market in the world.

REUTERS / Christian Hartmann

REUTERS / Christian Hartmann

China has become a popular testing ground for unmanned vehicle testing of many brands. Autonomous vehicles from companies such as Pony.ai, supported by Toyota, Baidu and Didi Chuxing, and WeRide, supported by Nissan, are being tested in various cities in the Middle Kingdom.

Volkswagen, the largest foreign car manufacturer in China, said in a statement, testing of Audi e-tron electric vehicles with autonomous driving technology will begin in Hefei this September. The tests will be open to the public from next year.

In May, Volkswagen said it would invest 1 billion euros in acquiring a 50% stake in the state-owned parent company of the Chinese electric vehicle group Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Co (JAC). Volkswagen will also take full control of the Hefei electric vehicle joint venture with JAC, increasing its stake from 50% to 75%.

In addition, Volkswagen has joint ventures in China with the state-owned China FAW Group Corp Ltd and SAIC Motor Corp Ltd.

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