Alphabet Inc.'smay have a new challenger from China. AutoX, a startup with financial backing from Alibaba, has applied for California approval to test autonomous cars in the state where there is no human replacement driver, Reuters reported on Wednesday with driver assistance vehicles behind the scenes, as it were. Currently, only Waymo has this approval and has begun to test . When AutoX gets permission, it can quickly become a challenger.
AutoX is not new to the scene and has been tested in California for the past three years. The company's chief operating officer said his technology could "go deep" and "be safe for the public" by confirming the application for approval with the release.
According to the report, 60 companies test self-driving cars inwith replacement drivers. It is not clear if other units are currently applying for and requesting permission to remove the human backup driver.
The move is obviously an important step and a vote of confidence in a company's technology. Waymo was closest to the introduction of a public ride-center with its autonomous vehicles, in which possibly no one at all. The company continues to operate its Waymo One service by invitation only and is not yet ready for full public litigation.
Other companies faced setbacks. General Motors said it would notthis year through its Cruise Automation division, as it once was said. Ford has also reverted to expectations as to when its autonomous cars will be operational on a larger scale.