Chinese search giant Baidu has announced that it has received an autonomous vehicle testing permit from the U.S. state of California.
Baidu's announcement means that it now has access to the roads of the backyard of its biggest rival, Google, which is based out of Mountain View, California and has been testing its own fleet of self-driving cars for a while now.
Baidu is already present inside Silicon Valley's autonomous push thanks to 100-member strong team which is working on autonomous vehicles. With its new permit and the presence of its large team, the Chinese search engine is soon expected to put its self-driving cars on the road soon.
Baidu also announced a partnership with chip-maker Nvidia, which will see the two companies work together to build a comprehensive new end-to-end self-driving platform. However, the platform will not be fully autonomous, as the two companies are only aiming for Level 3 autonomy for the cars. Level 3 autonomous cars need the driver to monitor the car and take over at critical points during the drive.
Baidu hopes that the partnership with Nvidia will help it get a self-driving taxi fleet on the road. Both Baidu and Nvidia also plan to offer the autonomous driving tech to various OEMs around the world.