Baidu gains green light

Chinese search giant Baidu has gained approval to begin testing self-driving cars in Beijing.

The announcement comes just days after the first pedestrian death from an autonomous vehicle, and underlines Chinese support for this new technology.

Baidu has received permission to test its vehicles on 33 road in the city’s less populated suburbs, spanning about 65 miles. Authorities have already issued licenses to Shanghai-based SAIC Motor Corp and electric vehicle start-up NIO to begin testing self-driving vehicles. Didi Chuxing, China’s ride-hailing giant, is also developing its own autonomous vehicles.

The company predicts it will have cars operating fully autonomously on highways and regular roads by 2020.