May 15 (UPI) — Chinese tech company Didi Chuxing, a rival to global ride-hailing company Uber, has obtained a permit to begin testing self-driving vehicles in California.
U.S. subsidiary Didi Research America is the latest of about 70 companies listed on the California Department of Motor Vehicles website with “autonomous vehicle testing permits (with a driver).”
The company, which bought out Uber’s China subsidiary in 2016, was granted the permit last week.
Didi received a more restrictive testing permit in 2016 and has an office in the state. It is one of several Chinese firms seeking to compete with U.S. automakers and tech companies in the field of self-driving cars.
Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent all have plans to build or manage autonomous vehicles, TheDrive.com reported Monday.
Didi is expected to compete directly with Uber in Mexico in the ride-hailing sector, although it’s unclear if it will target the same sector in the United States.
The Chinese company also recently purchased Brazilian ride-hailing company 99 Taxi.
Uber suspended its self-driving tests in March after a deadly accident in Arizona, in which an autonomous vehicle with a human controller, struck a pedestrian near Phoenix.
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said autonomous driving tests would resume within the next few months.