The Driverless Commute, presented by Dentons: Daimler wins OK from PRC to test in Beijing; NH guv blocks AV bill; Baidu ramps up AV bus production; and new study suggests AVs to worsen traffic

Welcome again to The Driverless Commute, presented by the global law firm Dentons, a weekly digest clocking the most important technical, legal and regulatory developments shaping the path to full autonomy.

1. First!

German luxury auto group Daimler AG won approval last week from the Chinese government to commence a driverless pilot on public roads in car-dense Beijing, becoming the first Western automaker to receive a testing license in the country, the MIT Technology Review reported.

With the green light, Daimler said it will presently deploy experimental Mercedes-Benz Level Four vehicles with technology developed in collaboration with local partners.

The new permit, the company said, came after extensive closed-course testing and required that it retrofit its vehicles with additional technical applications from Baidu’s open-source autonomous driving platform to meet the unique demands of China’s complex traffic dynamics.

(It wasn’t immediately apparent to your Driverless Commute correspondents whether the inclusion of Baidu tech was an explicit condition of the application process, or if Daimler merely believed it would help it meet a technical requirement.)

This time last year, the Stuttgart-based car giant made its first ever investment in a Chinese startup, taking part in a $46 million Series B funding run by high definition mapping service Momenta.

The Driverless Commute, a subscription-based service, is provided by Dentons’ global Autonomous Vehicles team. If you believe a colleague or associate would benefit from this service, please share this link so they may subscribe.

2. The Auto(nomous)bahn

3. Crystal balls

4. When watercooler talk isn’t enough

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A service of Dentons’ 3D Global Affairs, which yokes traditional legal capabilities to government affairs, corporate competitive analysis and strategic communications, The Console mines the public record to populate an easy-to-navigate platform. Click here to request a no-obligation demonstration of the service with James and Eric.

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Eric Tanenblatt

About Eric Tanenblatt

Eric Tanenblatt is the Global Chair of Public Policy and Regulation of Dentons, the world's largest law firm. He also leads the firm's US Public Policy Practice, leveraging his three decades of experience at the very highest levels of the federal and state governments.

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James Richardson

About James Richardson

James Richardson is a strategic communications counselor with 15 years’ experience advising presidential candidates, Global Fortune 500 executives, national nonprofits, and sovereign governments on strategic communications and reputation management. He helps lead Dentons’ 3D Global Affairs practice.

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