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Startup set to launch China's first commercial autonomous taxi

Beijing backing means vehicles can build safety record on open roads

Lu Qing, WeRide's president and CFO, recently visited Tokyo to attend the Nikkei-sponsored artificial intelligence event, AI/SUM (photo by Hideki Yoshikawa).

TOKYO -- China-based startup WeRide is launching its first commercial autonomous  taxi in Guangzhou and Anqing from July, taking advantage of the country's access to data to try and match similar efforts by U.S. groups such as Google and Uber.

Since last year the self-driving startup has already been carrying out test runs of taxi services with partners including Guangzhou Automobile Group. It currently has about 50 autonomous vehicles driving around the country and is now expanding its operations.

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