Chinese Startups Floor the Pedal in a Driverless Car Race

A clutch of Chinese startups are accelerating efforts to get autonomous vehicles onto roads in the world’s biggest auto market, a country their American peers from Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo to General Motors Co.’s Cruise may find tough to crack. is testing electric self-driving cars in the southern metropolis of Shenzhen and hopes to get 1,500 of them into the business districts of major cities by 2020. Sequoia Capital-backed plans to deploy a fleet of at least 20 self-driving vehicles for public ride-hailing services in Guangzhou as soon as next year, co-founder James Peng said in a recent interview. And Daimler-backed Momenta just inked a contract with the government of eastern Suzhou to deploy a self-driving fleet in the city within the year and open the service to citizens “at a suitable time.”