Chinese autonomous driving technology developer WeRide has started testing its fully driverless cars to further advance the development of autonomous robotaxis.

According to a Reuters report, the company started the testing after it secured permission to test autonomous vehicles on designated open roads in Guangzhou, China.

The vehicles are connected with a remote centre, which will control the self-driving unit under unusual traffic conditions.

A company official told Caixin that a backup driver will also be present during the tests.

Established in 2017, WeRide focuses on developing Level 4 autonomous driving technologies, which are capable of handling almost all operations without human intervention.

WeRide RoboTaxi, the company’s joint venture with Baiyun Taxi and SCI (Guangzhou) Group has already launched a robotaxi programme in Guangzhou.

The programme includes 144.65km² area and offers ride hailing services to locals in the Huangpu and Guangzhou Development District.

Headquartered in Guangzhou, WeRide has operation centres in Beijing, Shanghai and Anqing, as well as Silicon Valley in the US.

The company is backed by Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi.

In China, several other companies, including, Baidu and Didi Chuxing, are also testing autonomous vehicles.

Last month, Didi Chuxing (DiDi) started an on-demand autonomous taxi service in Shanghai.

The service is available across an open-traffic area that includes Shanghai’s Automobile Exhibition Center, the local business districts, subway stations and hotels in downtown Shanghai.

This year, DiDi also raised more than $500m through a SoftBank Vision Fund 2-led funding round to support its autonomous driving subsidiary.