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Baidu wins green light to test fully driverless cars in California

Company is second from China to receive such a permit in the state

Baidu Apollo, the search engine giant's autonomous vehicle unit, is a leading self-driving player in China. (Photo courtesy of the company) 

PALO ALTO, U.S. -- Chinese tech company Baidu, best known for its search engine, has received a permit to test fully autonomous vehicles without a safety driver in California, the state's Department of Motor Vehicles said Wednesday.

Baidu is the sixth company to receive a driverless test permit from California, after Waymo, Nuro, Zoox, Cruise, and AutoX -- an Alibaba-backed, Chinese self-driving startup. There are 58 companies that have an active permit to test autonomous vehicles with a safety driver in California, according to the DMV.

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