Self-driving vehicle start-up DeepRoute has received an Autonomous Vehicle Testing (AVT) permit to test its fleet in California, US.

The permission from the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) brings the company’s self-driving vehicles one step closer to the public.

The company will begin test drives with its level four (L4) full-stack self-driving system in California’s Silicon Valley area.

DeepRoute will test the vehicles under the direction of experienced safety operators.

The testing is expected to enable the company to refine its early sensor fusion perception technology, Early Fusion. It will also help review the vehicles’ safety on the roads and DeepRoute’s planning algorithm.

Early Fusion is designed to provide support with precise interpretations of the vehicle’s surroundings.

DeepRoute chief operating officer Shuang Gao said: “This is an exciting step in our team’s progress to obtaining a fully autonomous fleet of vehicles in California.

“Over the coming months, our fleet is expected to grow and allow our teams to further perfect our technologies and reinforce the safety of autonomous vehicles.”

DeepRoute has become the 64th active ATV permit holder in the US state. Other holders include Tesla Motors, Bosch and Lyft.

California DMV ATV mandates trained safety operators to perform the testing.

Earlier this month, DeepRoute secured approximately $50m in funding from investment organisations.

DeepRoute has also partnered with a global supplier for a fleet of robotaxis in Japan.