Leading autonomous driving mobility company WeRide is the first startup in the world holding driverless test permits in both China and the US. In an update to its two-hour, 50-mile non-stop driverless road test video, WeRide has released another driverless testing video to the public, showcasing its cutting-edge technology on the open roads in China. Since July 2020, WeRide has been conducting driverless road tests on designated urban public roads in Guangzhou from 8am to 10pm everyday. As of April, 2021, WeRide’s driverless mileage has exceeded 100,000 kilometers (the company’s total autonomous mileage has reached over 4,500,000 kilometers).
The start of the video being released today, shows the test vehicle backing out of its parking spot and merging into traffic on a busy road mixed with pedestrians, electric scooters and other motor vehicles. The test vehicle maneuvers through the narrow, crowded two-way road that is lined with parked cars on both sides.
The video shows the following traffic scenarios:
Busy street with heavy traffic. The test vehicle nimbly makes its way along the busy road, as the video shows the steering wheel is accurately and constantly turning as it easily passes — sometimes within inches — a constant stream of oncoming cars and motorbikes. The vehicle also smoothly gives way to the motorcyclist suddenly rushing from the rear left.
Yielding to motorcyclists. The test vehicle slows down in time to yield to several electric motorcyclists darting in front to the test car from behind changing to the left lane. In another scenario, motorcyclists are moving in the wrong direction and pass the test vehicle only by inches. Again, the test vehicle slows down in time to avoid collision.
Yielding to jaywalkers. WeRide’s driverless vehicles are constantly on the lookout for jaywalking and inattentive pedestrians, who are classified as highly sensitive objects in the autonomous driving (AD) system.
Dealing with surprises on the road. Cars coming to a sudden stop, swerving in and out of traffic, backing up or making turns from the wrong lane, passengers unexpectedly opening a car door, and pedestrians stepping in front of traffic all pose challenges to the test vehicles, especially to the prediction module. WeRide’s autonomous driving system is updated 10 times per second to make accurate prediction and plan route precisely in accordance with the subtle changes to the surrounding environment.
WeRide ONE, the universal self-driving algorithm developed by WeRide, supports safe AD under various traffic scenarios and weather conditions on public urban roads. WeRide ONE has undergone extensive, verified tesing in both China and the US, driving more than 4.5 million kilometers on real roads. WeRide ONE has been tested extensively on city expressways and highways, in tunnels, ‘villages in the city’ and CBDs (Central Business District), overcoming the challenges posed by all tpyes of traffic conditions.
Safety and stability remain WeRide’s top priority. The compay has spared no effort in the driverless testing to classify traffic scenarios, especially those involving vulnerable pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. WeRide’s perception algorithms are trained to pay close attention to oncoming and reversing vehicles and vehicles driving in the wrong lane. Its planning algorithms allow the vehicle to be ready for sudden events. In the meantime, WeRide has been upgrading the remote-control system, reducing system delay, improving user interface and automation, ensuring safe road test as well as maximizing efficiency.
WeRide’s test vehicles are learning from these complex and yet everyday traffic scenarios as it continues to perfect the AI algorithms required of an experienced driver.
WeRide’s Driverless Journey:
In July 2020, WeRide obtained the first driverless road test permit in China, jointly issued by Guangzhou Municipal Transportation Bureau, Guangzhou Municipal Industry and Information Technology Bureau and Guangzhou Municipal Public Security Bureau. It allows WeRide to conduct road tests of driverless vehicles within designated open roads in Guangzhou, adopting multiple redundant measures including 5G-enabled remote control for safety guarantee.
In January 2021, Haizhu District, one of 11 districts in Guangzhou designated test roads for ICVs (Intelligent Connected Vehicles), with a total length of about 11 kilometers. WeRide’s driverless vehicles cruised into Guangzhou’s CBD urban center, after winning the approval.
In April 2021, WeRide received a permit from the California DMV to conduct driverless testing on public roads in San Jose without a safety driver inside the vehicles, making it the first startup in the world holding driverless test permits in both China and the US. WeRide then released a video of a two-hour, 50-mile non-stop driverless test drive conducted in China’s Guangzhou in 2020, showcasing its cutting-edge AD technology.
WeRide aims at developing most advanced autonomous driving technology to make our trip safer and more efficient. It has received strategic investments from top-tier global automakers, including Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance and Yutong Group. WeRide is the first startup in the world that holds driverless test permits in both China and the US.
Established in 2017, WeRide is headquartered in Guangzhou, China, and maintains R&D and operation centers in Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Wuhan, Zhengzhou and Anqing, as well as Silicon Valley in the US. It employs a highly skilled team and has extensive domestic and international experience in R&D, business models and business operations.
WeRide launched the first Robotaxi service, completely open to public, in November 2019, in Guangzhou, China, covering an area of 144 square kilometers. Since June 2020, WeRide’s Robotaxi service became available to the public through Amap, a popular ride-hailing mobile app in China with 140 million monthly active users. A total of 147,128 trips were completed for more than 60,000 passengers during the first year of WeRide Robotaxi services.