Daimler says it has received the authorities' approval for highly automated driving (level 4) test area road use in Beijing following extensive closed-course testing.

It says it is the first international automaker to receive a road test license for highly automated driving research vehicles (level 4) in Beijing.

Urban traffic is one of the biggest challenges on the road to autonomous driving. With this approval, Mercedes-Benz says its test vehicles will now begin real road tests to further perfect the technology in the Chinese capital of Beijing, a metropolis with unique and complex urban traffic situations.

Daimler has already obtained automated driving test licenses in Germany and the US, and has continuously pushed forward automated driving development in China, working together with its local partners to adapt its technologies to China's traffic environment for consistently improving the safety of all road users as its first concern.

To qualify for the license, Mercedes-Benz vehicles equipped with additional technical applications from Baidu Apollo undertook extensive testing at the National Pilot Zone (Beijing and Hebei) for Intelligent Mobility, with test drivers receiving rigorous automated driving training.

Mr. Hubertus Troska, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Greater China, said: " Autonomous driving is a key pillar of our global C.A.S.E. strategy, and today's announcement marks a major step forward for our innovation efforts here in China. We demonstrate our commitment to furthering the development of China's automotive industry through continually expanding the scope of our local research and development. 'Inspired by China, innovating for China', we are dedicated to providing our customers here with technologies, products and services tailored to their needs."

Prof. Dr. Hans Georg Engel, Head of Mercedes-Benz Research and Development China said: "Backed by strong local partners, our R&D in China results in concrete innovations that allow us to achieve sustainable development today and into the future. This expanded research into automated driving will provide a strong base for developing further automated driving technology that addresses the challenges posed by China's unique traffic environment, in order to further ensure that our technology and products offer the safety and convenience our customers expect."

Auto market intelligence
from just-auto

• Auto component fitment forecasts
• OEM & tier 1 profiles & factory finder
• Analysis of 30+ auto technologies & more