IOT: Powering the digital economy

Daimler gets go-ahead for automated vehicle testing in Beijing 

Key Points
  • Mercedes-Benz test vehicles are set to begin road trials in the Chinese capital.
  • Daimler says that it is the first international automaker to get such a license in Beijing.
Xiaoyang Liu | Hulton Archive | Getty Images

German car giant Daimler has been granted a road test license for “highly-automated driving research vehicles” in Beijing.

With the license approved, Mercedes-Benz test vehicles are now set to begin road trials in the Chinese capital, a city that Daimler described as having “unique and complex urban traffic situations.”

Daimler added that it was the first international automaker to get such a license in Beijing. It has already received automated driving test licenses in both the U.S. and Germany.

The Stuttgart-headquartered business is also working with Chinese tech giant Baidu on autonomous driving. Daimler said the two companies were engaged in research related to safer solutions for automated driving in China via Apollo, an open source autonomous driving platform.

“Backed by strong local partners, our R&D (research and development) in China results in concrete innovations that allow us to achieve sustainable development today and into the future,” Hans Georg Engel, head of Mercedes-Benz Research and Development China, said in a statement Friday.

“This expanded research into automated driving will provide a strong base for developing further automated driving technology that addresses the challenges posed by China’s unique traffic environment, in order to further ensure that our technology and products offer the safety and convenience our customers expect,” he added.

Friday also saw Daimler report that its sales for Mercedes-Benz in June fell by 2.6 percent, with 203,783 vehicles sold. Numbers were impacted by a number of factors, including a fire at a U.S. supplier, it said.

Mercedes-Benz unit sales in Europe dropped by 8.4 percent, while in the U.S. they fell by 9.7 percent. Sales in China, however, grew by 13.7 percent.

Follow CNBC International on Twitter and Facebook.