After nearly 90 companies already held a license to test autonomous cars on public roads in California, there are currently only 46 left. The last four companies to either lose their license or not renew are automotive supplier Conti, automakers Honda and Volkswagen, and startup CYNGN.
These licenses are issued to companies by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) after meeting a number of requirements, such as training safety drivers, completing 10,000 miles of testing on closed test tracks, submitting special insurance, or requiring annual disengagement reports. The 46 remaining companies have around 1,000 vehicles on the road in California, and there mostly in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Why do the companies mentioned no longer have a license? The reasons can be manifold:
- they might not have renewed the license;
- they lost the license (like Pony.ai for violations of licensing requirements);
- they test in other regions of the world
Behind these reasons could be that companies have abandoned their own development of autonomous driving technology, are sourcing the technology from elsewhere, or are now focusing their efforts in other regions.
In the case of Volkswagen, for example, we know that it has partnered with Argo.ai (this company has a California testing license). Volkswagen was also one of the first companies in California to hold such a test license.
This article was also published in German.