SF Motors Begins Autonomous Vehicle Testing On U.S. Roads
If you will be driving in either California or Michigan in the near furture, be on the lookout for cars with no drivers. A Chinese startup, SF Motors, has announced that they have been given a special permit by the State of California to conduct testing of autonomous, or driverless, vehicles. The company is also conducting test in Michigan in conjunction with the University of Michigan. The tests will occur on public roads, a first in the United States.
SF Motors was started with the idea in mind to get autonomous cars in the hands of consumers by the year 2020, an ambitious undertaking that is having many around the United States both excited, while others have obvious safety concerns. The company currently has two manufacturing facilities and four research & development. They are the most aggressive company that specializes in such technology and have been testing on China’s roads for over a year.
SF Motors signed a deal with U of M in 2016 for research and testing that was worth $2.5 million. The company hopes to expand their testing into more locations around the world as they carry out their plan to make this technology safe and feasible.
SF Motors is owned by the Chinese automaker Chongqing Sokon Industry Group, which also is one of the world’s largest supplier of automotive parts. They have announced that they will introduce an autonomous electric prototype vehicle in a California auto show later this year. All eyes will be on the company for 2018 and going forward.