Tencent has obtained a license for road tests of intelligent connected vehicles from Shenzhen municipal government, our sister site has reported (in Chinese). Tencent said that the transportation bureau issued only one license this time. The company will begin testing autonomous vehicles on public roads after the government designates the testing area.

Tencent’s autonomous vehicle (Image Credit: Tencent)

The Tencent Autonomous Vehicle Laboratory made its debut last November. The laboratory operates under Tencent’s Mobile Internet Group (MIG) along with other businesses such as connected car services, location services, and Tencent Maps. The company plans to further integrate other resources—including cloud, security, big data, and AI—into the autonomous vehicle platform.

In March, Shanghai authorities issued China’s first batch of licenses for road tests of autonomous vehicles, giving the green light to Chinese electric vehicle startup NIO and the state-owned automaker SAIC Motor.

China’s tech giants have all been moving into autonomous vehicles. Baidu has been granted the right to test their vehicles in cities including Beijing, Shanghai, and Chongqing. Alibaba is also eager to join the race. The e-commerce giant is now running road tests on a regular basis and has invested in Xiaopeng Motors, a startup developing electric cars, and partnered with SAIC to build internet-connected vehicles.